Federal judge OKs Casey Anthony settlement

Casey Anthony‘s bankruptcy judge has approved her settlement with Texas EquuSearch, the search-and-recovery group that scoured Central Florida for her missing 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008.

Under the terms of the settlement, filed for U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May’s approval in October, EquuSearch agreed to drop its complaint, which objected to Anthony’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Anthony agreed to allow EquuSearch to claim $75,000 as a creditor. However, it appears unlikely EquuSearch will get much, if any, of that money.

The group may get a portion of whatever Anthony’s bankruptcy trustee can find in her estate, but the rest of the $75,000 debt is now set to be wiped away when her bankruptcy concludes.

Anthony’s January bankruptcy filing listed more than $792,000 in debt, and less than $1,100 in assets. The settlement, approved by May on Monday, does not require Anthony to admit liability.

The search group says it spent more than $100,000 searching for Caylee, who Anthony already knew was dead.

Anthony was acquitted of murder in the girl’s death during a 2011 trial and has been in hiding ever since.

In a press release after the settlement, EquuSearch said the decision to settle came “after considerable thought.”

“While many have debated whether Casey Anthony will ever financially profit from Caylee’s death, one thing is certain; the time and money that (EquuSearch) must spend to pursue these claims are being taken from other families that really need their help,” said EquuSearch lawyers Wites & Kapetan, P.A. and Meland Russin & Budwick, P.A.

EquuSearch was one of three Anthony creditors who filed federal complaints arguing their claims should survive her bankruptcy. The two others, Zenaida Gonzalez and Roy Kronk, have complaints still pending against her.

They say they were defamed by Anthony, but she has asked a judge to dismiss their claims, with Anthony’s attorneys calling the claims baseless.

Anthony told detectives investigating Caylee’s disappearance that a baby sitter named Zenaida Gonzalez kidnapped the girl. Kronk found Caylee’s remains in woods near Anthony’s home. He says he was defamed when Anthony’s defense team made false statements, including that Kronk killed Caylee and that he moved the remains.