If you are under financial pressure so severe that you filed for bankruptcy, you might be tempted to conceal some assets so the bankruptcy court does not find out all that you own. However, if you do hide property so the court doesn’t take it to pay off your creditors, you risk being charged with federal bankruptcy fraud.
What You Need To Know About Federal Bankruptcy Fraud
You have the option to file for bankruptcy in a federal court if you have more debt than you can handle. After you file, your creditors will not be able to sue you or take your property to collect on your debts.
The judge will use information that you supply to the court to make determinations about what property you own and the debts you owe. This data will form the basis of the decisions the judge makes about how your creditors will be repaid. If you conceal assets or supply false information, it can be a criminal or civil offense.
When you file for bankruptcy, it is illegal under federal law to knowingly and intentionally:
- Conceal assets
- Destroy or hide financial records
- Provide false statements
- File a false claim
- Bribe a creditor or court-appointed trustee
- File for bankruptcy in different states simultaneously
Most bankruptcy fraud involves concealing assets.
Creditors who file fraudulent claims or make untrue statements about the way a debtor is making payments can also be charged with bankruptcy fraud.
Serious bankruptcy fraud can wind up in federal court. If so, prosecutors will seek punishment that includes up to five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.
How A Lawyer Will Help
When you are up against a fraud charge, you will be facing inflexible laws and a determined US prosecutor. You will need an attorney who can help you determine all of your options and achieve the best outcome for your circumstances.
United States Code
Read more about federal criminal offenses in the United States Code.
Questions? Contact us today.
If you are charged with a federal crime, the consequences can be devastating. Fienman Defense will fight tenaciously to protect your constitutional rights. We will guide you through a court system that can be complex and intimidating, and provide you with the strongest possible defense.