The Legal Consequences of Bankruptcy Fraud

Bankruptcy frauds have a small percentage of cases when it comes to quantifying federal crimes. Most often, bankruptcy crimes are linked with the debtors’ attempt to hide assets. Other bankruptcy offenses include the destruction of the records, falsifying documents field, false identity information, stealing from bankruptcy estate or bribing the court officials.  

When a person commits bankruptcy fraud, he or she can be penalized by the law through criminal charges with the crime stamped on his or her record forever. Once committing such fraud, the person may be declared ineligible to file legitimate bankruptcy claims in the future. It is very important to ensure that all the fields have accurate and correct information and that the applicant has provided the court with correct documentation and filed bankruptcy only once.

What is Bankruptcy Fraud? 

Most of the bankruptcy cases occur due to concealment of the assets from the government. In order to stand eligible for the bankruptcy, the culprit conceals other assets and monetary accounts from the creditors. Apart from the concealments, the person may transfer his assets and money to his friends and family members so that those assets cannot be found by the authorities as his or hers. Such fraudulent concealments lead to further complications and legal issue for the culprit.

Petition Mills:

Petition Mills are different from a person filing for bankruptcy in multiple jurisdictions with the same name with false documentation. These are scams in which bankruptcy is filed on behalf of another person acting as a consulting agency which attempts to help with repayment of debts. These fraudulent consulting agencies charge the person with heavy fees and leave him or her in further debt.

The Legal Consequences:

The government officials or prosecutors investigating for federal branches of the government can bring criminal charges if a bankruptcy fraud is suspected. These officials can provide the proof to the courts through highlighting misrepresentation of the facts on the forms. Although the intention is difficult to prove, however, the wrong information provides in the forms is sufficient for the jury to decide the intention of the perpetrator.

Penalties:

In case of a standard bankruptcy conviction, the penalty is up to 5 years in jail with an additional fine of $250,000. If the fraud is not completed, the intention of fraud is also a punishable crime.

If a person is the victim of bankruptcy crimes, he or she can file a civil lawsuit to be compensated for such damages. This leads to a civil case initiated on top of a criminal case regarding the damages to the victim. The victim must prove the jury that the perpetrator has caused damage and harm through his or her actions which have led him or her to bear the physical or economic loss.

 Since the conviction of civil cases and criminal cases are different, the person may face two separate cases and events with the same conviction.

Seeking a Legal Assistance:

Bankruptcy cases occur with the intentional act to commit the crime. In case, a person accused had no such intention or the absence of such event means that the defendant is innocent. In this case, the accused must hire the services of a lawyer with experience in federal bankruptcy criminal activities. The bankruptcy attorney in Chicago helps the accused to succeed through the character witnesses or forms.