An individual or business with insurmountable debts and facing unrelenting collection action from creditors may need to seek the protections provided by the Bankruptcy Court and in an effort to deal with the problematic financial circumstances. Bankruptcy is the last resort for many. The judge, bankruptcy trustee and creditors expect the petitioner to present a clear and honest picture of the actual scene. In fact, all statements and documents are submitted under penalty of perjury.
If you attempt to conceal property, make false accounts or claims, mislead or otherwise attempt to defeat the Bankruptcy Code provisions you may find yourself in very serious legal trouble. Bankruptcy fraud committed by a business can involve shareholders, directors, employees, partners and other associates. If an individual had others assist in the fraudulent actions, then they all are subject to prosecution. Not only does it jeopardize your chance of a successful bankruptcy, it also exposes you and others to punishment by the courts.
The subject of "Bankruptcy Fraud" is addressed in 18 U.S.C. Section 152 and more specifically in Section 157. The bankruptcy court requires all facts included in the petitions, schedules, and statements submitted by the debtor are true and accurate, and verified under oath when the petitioner testifies regarding the financial situation. It is against the law to transfer or conceal property, destroy documents, pay someone to commit a fraudulent action, or engage in unlawful means as covered in the bankruptcy statutes. A federal crime involving bankruptcy can be extremely dangerous, and should be addressed with the help of a defense lawyer that has experience in federal court.
The courts dismiss many fraud cases because they are difficult to prove, but along with the dismissal is the opportunity for a real bankruptcy action. If the case is not dismissed then it will be prosecuted by the Department of Justice, bringing in an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. If the defendant is convicted the penalties can include:
The crimes of perjury, falsifying records and tampering may increase the charges. To help you avoid fraud make sure you deal honestly and fairly with your creditors. Our Columbus criminal attorneys at The Meranda Law Firm LTD can help you to face the scrutiny of federal prosecutors in court. If you are accused of committing bankruptcy fraud, it is imperative that you have a defense attorney with great insight and skill on your side from the outset.
Contact us for advice if you made a mistake or false statement in your submissions during a bankruptcy proceeding as you may face serious fraud charges.