April 2022 saw courts dish out two big penalties for Bankruptcy Fraud.
In April 2022, over in the UK, former tennis great Boris Becker was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for bankruptcy fraud: hiding $3 million in assets during his case. Becker had landed bankruptcy in the UK back in 2017, because of a $5 million bank loan he couldn’t pay. It came to light later that he hid assets from the bankruptcy court.
Also in April, closer to home, William Henry Romm, III, of Glen Allen Virginia, pled guilty to concealing $400,000 from the bankruptcy court in his Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. He faces a possible 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced in August. (Usually people who plead guilty don’t get the max.)
They Look for This Bankruptcy Fraud Stuff
There’s a government agency–the Office of the United States Trustee–that’s in charge of looking for this stuff. (Sometimes it seems like they are just “neat paperwork” police, but their job is to catch bankruptcy fraud.) In 2020, they recommended 2489 people for criminal law prosecution.
Tell the Truth to Your Bankruptcy Lawyer
For most people–usually–there are both legal and illegal ways to protect yourself and your property in bankruptcy. Your lawyer can point you to the legal ways: as long as you tell your lawyer the truth. Also, now and then I have to warn some people they should never set foot in the bankruptcy court.