LACONIA - A judge has ordered a city man who ran for state Senate last year to pay at least $20,000 to his ex-wife and her attorney in a divorce dispute.
Judge James M. Carroll, in the 4th Circuit Court-Family Division, said a "fraud was perpetrated" by Josh Youssef regarding disputed financial transactions with his father.
The judge ordered Youssef, a Republican whose personal life became an issue in his failed Senate bid, to pay $5,000 in attorney fees owed by his wife, Bethany.
Bethany Youseff's attorney, Edward Mosca, said the 20-page ruling left unclear whether Youseff must pay 50 percent of a disputed $30,000 or half of $35,000.
Mosca said he will file court papers to have the judge clarify that amount.
Youssef's attorney, Jonathan Springer, couldn't be reached for comment.
According to the ruling, Youssef provided his father $30,000 from the marital estate in a real estate transaction in Tilton. Later, Youssef received $35,000 that he said was a loan from his father for the purchase of a Laconia property.
The judge said Youssef created "a sleight of hand" by receiving a disputed $35,000 loan from his father as a way of recouping the previous $30,000 he presented his father for the earlier Tilton real estate deal.
"The court finds that the fraud was perpetrated not in the transfer of the $30,000 for the Tilton real estate transaction but in the '$35,000' 'personal loan' for the purchase of the Union Avenue property, which was hidden from the Respondent (Mrs. Youssef)," the judge wrote.