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If you have been charged with bankruptcy fraud, you should contact a skilled federal criminal defense lawyer right away to protect your rights and your reputation. If there is any indication that you might be suspected of a crime, do not give a statement to the police or discuss the matter with anyone. Instead, contact a lawyer right away to minimize the likelihood that you will be charged.
Innocent people can be convicted of a crime. It can happen to you, your friends, or your family members. If you are suspected of a crime, you should be cautious and contact a skilled federal defense attorney for assistance.
There are many types of bankruptcy fraud, including fraudulent concealment or transfer of assets.
If you have been charged with bankruptcy fraud, you should contact a skilled federal criminal defense lawyer right away to protect your rights and your reputation. A conviction for bankruptcy fraud can result in a fine of $250,000 and five years in prison for each violation.
Fraudulent Concealment or Transfer
18 U.S,C. § 152 makes it is a federal crime for someone who is declaring bankruptcy to fraudulently conceal or transfer assets. Actions constitute concealment if they prevent discovery or withhold knowledge of the asset. Each act of concealment and/or each transfer is considered a separate violation of the statute, leading to severe penalties which can result in a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in prison per violation. Prosecutors typically attempt to create as many counts as possible, and our skilled federal criminal defense lawyers can take multiple steps to protect you such as ensuring that each charge involves a separate act of concealment, taken at a discrete time, and accompanied by the requisite intent.
Defenses to bankruptcy fraud include, but are not limited to: (1) asserting lack of materiality of a false statement; and 2) that the defendant strictly followed the advice of bankruptcy counsel who was directing him to act in accordance with the law, thereby negating the mental state required for fraud.
Embezzlement by Custodian
18 U.S.C. § 153 makes it a federal crime to “knowingly and fraudulently appropriates to his own use, embezzles, spends, or transfers any property or secretes or destroys any document belonging to the estate of a debtor which came into his charge as trustee, custodian, marshal, or other officer of the court”. A conviction for embezzlement under 18 U.S.C. § 153 can result in up to five years in prison.
Purchase of Assets by Custodian
18 U.S.C. § 154 makes it a federal crime for a “custodian, trustee, marshal, or other officer of the court”, to “knowingly purchase, directly or indirectly, any property of the estate of which he is such officer in a case under Title 11″, or who “knowingly refuses to permit a reasonable opportunity for the inspection of the documents and accounts relating to the affairs of estates in his charge by parties in interest when directed by the court to do so.”
Unlawful Fee Agreements
18 U.S.C. § 155 makes it a federal crime for a debtor, creditor, receiver, trustee or representative or attorney of any of them, in any bankruptcy case to “knowingly and fraudulently enters into any agreement, express or implied, with another such party in interest or attorney for another such party in interest, for the purpose of fixing the fees or other compensation to be paid to any party in interest for services rendered in connection therewith, from the assets of the estate.” A conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 155 can lead to a fine of up to $250,000 and a one year prison sentence.
If you, a family member, or a friend, have been charged with a crime, or are being suspected or investigated for a crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer without delay to ensure the best possible outcome and to minimize and eliminate the possibility of wrongful conviction.
Merchant Law Group LLP’s experienced criminal defense lawyers are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for a free consultation. Our criminal defense lawyers can make themselves available on very short notice. We accept credit cards and offer flexible payment plans. If you have been charged with a state or federal crime contact one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers who will do everything in their power to get your charges reduced or dismissed, or to win your case at trial.