Fighting for individuals and business owners accused of abusing the bankruptcy process
Bankruptcy is an important process that encourages investment and responsible risk in business by giving a second chance to people whose ventures do not work out. Unfortunately, some people in abuse this process for personal financial gain through misrepresentation, concealment of assets and other means. Because bankruptcy is a process created under federal law, bankruptcy fraud is a serious federal crime. Therefore, if you are being investigated or have been accused of bankruptcy fraud, a bankruptcy fraud lawyer from Alliant Law Group, LLC can help you build a sophisticated and effective legal defense.
Types of bankruptcy fraud
Federal bankruptcy fraud statutes are broad in wording and scope, meaning that many different types of conduct can be construed as bankruptcy fraud. However, certain types of bankruptcy crimes tend to be more common:
- Concealing assets
- Embezzling from the bankruptcy estate
- Concealing books or records
- Multiple filings
- Knowingly making false claims
- Knowingly making false statements
- Bribery during bankruptcy proceedings
The federal bankruptcy fraud statute applies to all bankruptcy processes — both business and personal. This federal crime carries a potential sentence of up to five years in federal prison and significant fines. Simple mistakes or carelessness — such as are common with petition mills — during the bankruptcy process may have civil consequences. However, when such conduct appears to be part of a calculated scheme to avoid turning over property, to receive an unjustified discharge of debt or to otherwise get more out of the bankruptcy process than it legally should provide, these types of conduct can have serious criminal consequences.
Why you should contact an experienced attorney
The line between fraud and negligence is often blurred. Federal prosecutors must be able to prove that a person accused of bankruptcy fraud acted willfully for a conviction to be possible. Therefore, fraud lawyers frequently take the position that their clients were simply careless or ill-informed and that they lacked the requisite state of mind for criminal liability to attach. While this strategy may not work under all circumstances, an experienced bankruptcy fraud attorney is in the best position to evaluate the circumstances of your case, determine the prosecution’s weaknesses and construct a defense calculated to highlight those weaknesses to obtain an acquittal or favorable plea bargain. If you face this complicated problem, please contact Managing Partner Daniel Conidi for a free consultation at Dconidi@alliantlaw.us