In his letter, Knotts acknowledged his embarrassment over his actions.
“All they did was order him to come to court and answer some financial questions,” Keith said. “Now he had to go to jail for the first time in his life.”
Outwardly, it appeared that Knotts was financially stable with a thriving business that attracted travelers and local dignitaries. But Keith said that despite appearances, things weren’t what they seemed.
“Here’s the hard and scary part: Every business you see has gone through a lot of hardships and financial issues that people don’t see, especially now with COVID,” Keith said. “Sometimes they live check after check and bill after bill – and that’s exactly what he was in his situation. He was drowning in debts and he wasn’t able to pay them.”
Knotts owes plaintiffs Ed Cobbler and Pat Lowe more than $100,000, with the first loans dating back to 2012 and the interest far exceeding the original loans.
The debtor’s first review was scheduled for December 13, 2021. When Knotts failed to show up, a second review was scheduled for January 3. After missing this appearance, the creditors asked the judge to impose sanctions.
On January 11, a judge ordered Knotts to appear in court on February 14 to explain his absences.