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U.S. Senate Candidate Guilty of Writing Bad Check, InvestigativeCheck Reveals

Washington, DC (May 10, 2012) – Brenda Lenard, a Tea Party favorite running for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee, was found guilty of writing a bad check in 1993, InvestigativeCheck has learned. Lenard also has filed for bankruptcy protection so many times that a federal judge rebuked her for trying to abuse the system, according to records obtained by InvestigativeCheck, which conducts in-depth research for corporate and political clients.

Lenard is just one of as many as a dozen current U.S. Senate candidates who have filed for bankruptcy protection, according to a comprehensive review performed by InvestigativeCheck.

“Using public records, we have scoured the backgrounds of hundreds of candidates running for Senate and have found never-disclosed bankruptcies, massive tax liens and criminal convictions,” said Jim Popkin, the InvestigativeCheck founder and CEO. “We conducted these investigations on our own and will be releasing the results so voters can make informed decisions about candidates for public office.”

Today a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Tennessee, Lenard has been actively campaigning for Senate across the state. She has raised more money for her campaign than any other challenger, FEC records indicate, topped only by incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Corker. Lenard, a Republican, is challenging Corker in the state’s GOP primary in August.

But in 1993, Lenard was living in Georgia and was prosecuted for a felony, according to Georgia Bureau of Investigation files. The charge was deposit account fraud, or writing a bad check in an amount greater than $500. Lenard paid a $250 fine and spent 12 months on probation. A court clerk in Georgia says the felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor during sentencing.

In addition, federal records show that Lenard filed for bankruptcy four times from 2003 to 2005. The fourth time, in 2005, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Atlanta dismissed her case and called it an “abusive filing” that was “an intent by debtor to improperly hinder and delay creditors.”

Lenard has not previously disclosed the conviction or her multiple bankruptcies. She says in an interview that she has gone through hard times but now is on the straight and narrow. “The good news is, I am now very close to finishing my PhD. So it’s a tragedy and success story all in one.”

InvestigativeCheck provides in-depth research for corporate and political clients. Run by former investigative reporters with decades of experience, InvestigativeCheck is a non-partisan research firm that delivers measurable results. For more information, please visit:

Jim Popkin—Former NBC News reporter and Senior Investigative Producer Download this PR (PDF)
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