Is Michael Long bankrupt? Sophie Long's dad sells 'mystical' sand online, has $500,000 debt
Days after Texas toddler Sophie Long went missing in what authorities are now believing might be a plot of her father, Michael Long, new information regarding her father's financial status has emerged.
According to reports, Sophie was with her father, Michael Long, when she went missing. The Guadalupe Sherrif’s Department said that for his latest court custody hearing, Michael came alone without Sophie. She was last seen on July 12, 2021, in Seguin, Guadalupe County. Describing the circumstances, the Texas Department of Public Safety stated in a release, “Missing juvenile is believed to be with her non-custodial parent, Michael Long, and may be en route to Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Mexico or Argentina. Michael Long is possibly driving an off white 2010 Ford Edge SUV or a gray van with blacked out windows, a NRA sticker and a black rack on top. Missing juvenile has a small burn mark on one of her arms.”
Sophie was caught in the middle of a bitter child custodial battle ever since her parents divorced in 2015. Last year, in August, she made headlines when Michael accused Sophie's mother Kelly Long's fiance of inappropriately touching Sophie while she was in her mother’s care. A video posted by him showed Sophie in tears while the custody exchange was taking place, which went viral, with the hashtag "Stand With Sophie" quickly trending on Twitter. Michael went so far as enlisting former President Donald Trump's help in getting sole custody of his daughter and even set up an allegedly fraudulent GoFundMe page to raise money for legal fees.
Michael Long's financial woes
The 'Stand With Sophie' online fundraiser started by Michael and his current wife, Kourtney Chalmers, amassed more than $200,000 as social media campaign for the toddler gained steam. “Sophie, 9 years old, has disclosed she has been continuously subjected to domestic violence, sexual grooming and most recently molestation/rape in her primary residence,” stated the GoFundMe page, which is presently closed for donations. “Her father is fighting for her life while her abusers pull every resource to get their hands back on her.”
However, Kelly Long's lawyers have disputed the claims made in the fundraiser. “Michael Long has substantial financial woes, which appears to be motivation for his attempts to monetize his child custody case,” the firm’s statement read. “He filed for bankruptcy in 2011 leaving a debt of nearly $500,000. His current source of income is produced through a business that he runs with his wife Kourtney Chalmers and family in which they sell sand infused with spiritual energy online. We are unfortunately dealing with a very volatile and increasingly dangerous situation. Michael Long will seemingly stop at nothing to destroy his ex-wife, even if it wreaks massive psychological damage on his family and involves stealing money from the public through false claims.”
Michael lives in an RV with his parents
Moreover, Kelly’s lawyers also claimed Michael was selling FaceTime interviews with Sophie to strangers on the internet, apart from hawking merchandise on Etsy for monetary gain. This was in addition to the fact that in September 2000, a Texas Amicus lawyer “appointed by the court to represent the best interests of the children” said that it’s better for the three children to be with their mother because, among other things, Michael rarely sent the kids to school.
Jacob Wayne Bellington, Kelly's fiance, who claimed to have been falsely targeted by Michael to get an upper hand in his custodial battle for Sophie, blasted Michael while speaking to the Daily Beast. "He’s a lazy sack of shit who can’t hold a job—supposedly he ‘empowers’ rocks, he finds rocks or ‘mystic sands’ that he’s got on his parents’ property where he lives," Bellington said, adding that Michael was still living with his parents. He added that Michael and Chalmers apparently reside in an RV in their yard.