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Leaving out information in bankruptcy can result in fraud charge

A man in Pennsylvania is being charged with fraud in part due to omissions of information in his bankruptcy filings. If the man is convicted, the crimes could mean a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of $100,000 for each charge he is convicted on. The case is a good illustration of how important it is to be honest and complete in bankruptcy filings.

The man reportedly filed three separate bankruptcy petitions. Each of the petitions was filed for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The court dismissed all three of the petitions, which were filed between Aug. 2012 and Nov. 2012.

According to reports, the man did not include details about a promissory note he was listed on. The note allegedly stated the man was the owner, which meant he was entitled to the amount listed on the note. The note was for $2.4 million dollars.

The man was reportedly also actively involved in litigation to collect on the note in question. That litigation was taking place in another state. With such a sum on the table as possible future income, the man should have included the information about the promissory note in his bankruptcy filings.

Because of this omission, the man was indicted on fraud charges. It's a safe assumption that the criminal trial will center around whether the man intended to defraud with his omission or whether it was a mistake of ignorance. Either way, the man might face steep penalties for leaving the information out.

When you file for any type of bankruptcy, it's important to include all applicable and accurate information in your petition. Working with an experienced legal representative helps ensure you avoid omissions or other errors that could land you in trouble or derail your bankruptcy effort.

Source: Pocono Record, "Pike Co. man accused of bankruptcy fraud," Oct. 14, 2015

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