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Joe Paterno Sold House To Wife For $1 Months Before Penn State Scandal Broke

The New York Times reports that, back in July, Joe Paterno gave full ownership of his house to his wife for the token sum of $1. The rest of the article is filled with speculation about why exactly that might be, considering the coincidence that Paterno ended up losing his job just a few months later for failing to do enough to stop an alleged child predator. One of Paterno's lawyers denies that this has anything to do with the scandal, but given the lack of an obvious alternate explanation for the transfer, there's some speculation that Paterno transferred ownership in order to avoid losing it should civil suits be filed against him.

Lawrence A. Frolik, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh who specializes in elder law, said that he had "never heard" of a husband selling his share of a house for $1 to his spouse for tax or government assistance purposes.

"I can’t see any tax advantages," Frolik said. "If someone told me that, my reaction would be, ‘Are they hoping to shield assets in case if there’s personal liability?’ " He added, "It sounds like an attempt to avoid personal liability in having assets in his wife’s name."

There's no way to know what Paterno might have been thinking at this point, or maybe at any point. We'll see if he starts getting hit with civil suits, however.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.