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Personal bankruptcy case results in accusations of fraud

The vast majority of people that consider filing for bankruptcy in Florida take the decision very seriously and only file after they have exhausted other options. Unfortunately, however, there are instances where people attempt to take advantage of the debt relief system. Bankruptcy fraud is a major offense that can result in serious legal penalties.

One woman was recently charged with two offenses relating to bankruptcy fraud. She was accused of third-degree theft for failing to properly declare funds in her bankruptcy filing, which could result in a monetary fine of $150,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years. The other charge is fraud in insolvency in the second degree. That conviction could be accompanied by similar monetary penalties and a prison sentence of 10 years.

An investigation into the woman’s personal bankruptcy filing determined that she claimed to owe more than $95,000 in unsecured debt in the spring of 2012. Her bankruptcy was finalized a few months later, resulting in $75,000 worth of debt being discharged. Authorities claim, however, that the bankruptcy proceedings did not account for the fact that the woman inherited $100,000 the year before.

While working at a medical facility, the woman apparently inherited the money from a patient. After taxes were applied, she received two payments of $42,500 each. According to authorities, the woman filed for bankruptcy after receiving the first inheritance payment. She is also accused of concealing the funds in a separate bank account and failing to declare that she purchased a swimming pool. Beyond that, the woman’s partner allegedly sold a car that the women transferred ownership of.

It is incredibly important that personal debts and assets are properly identified during the bankruptcy filing the process. Therefore, having the guidance of an experienced lawyer can be helpful.

Source: nj.com, “Williamstown woman indicted for bankruptcy fraud after inheriting $100k from nursing home patient,” Andy Polhamus, Sep. 29, 2014

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