Bankruptcy fraud is a white collar crime that may involve such acts as intentionally filing false or incomplete forms, filing multiple times for bankruptcy in multiple states or the bribery of a court-appointed trustee. However, in the vast majority of the cases (close to 70%), the person or company accused of bankruptcy fraud is attempting to conceal assets.
The person or company filing bankruptcy, as the debtor, is essentially telling the court they cannot pay that which they owe to creditors. For the court to approve that bankruptcy petition, the debtor must meet specific criteria and accurately report all financial information.
The bankruptcy procedure may involve the liquidation of the debtor’s listed assets. Should the debtor fail to list an asset, the debtor retains that asset despite the outstanding debt. Often, the debtor transfers an asset to another individual prior to filing bankruptcy. Please consult an experienced San Francisco white collar criminal lawyer to determine if either act may be considered bankruptcy fraud.
Bankruptcy proceedings are conducted in Federal court and are criminal in nature. Proof of fraud requires that the debtor (defendant) knowingly and fraudulently made misrepresentations of material fact. A defendant convicted of bankruptcy fraud may face a sentence of up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000.00 or both.
Christopher Morales is an experienced San Francisco white collar criminal lawyer, available to assist you with any questions you may have. Call today or fill out the case evaluation form on this website for a free consultation