Bankruptcy fraud is a serious federal crime that both the IRS and the Department of Justice are increasingly focusing on prosecuting, as these agencies see bankruptcy fraud as:
- Undermining public confidence in the federal bankruptcy system
- Muddying the reputations of honest citizens who seek bankruptcy as a viable way to relieve them of overwhelming debt
- Negatively impacting voluntary compliance with the IRS’ income tax system.
According to the Department of Justice, bankruptcy fraud is any act in which a person petitioning for bankruptcy intentionally lies to the courts in order to relieve himself of debt while boosting his own personal financial standing. In practice, bankruptcy fraud can take a variety of forms, with some of the most common being:
- Concealing certain assets, such as personal property or bank accounts, by not disclosing them in bankruptcy filings
- Providing the courts with forms that are filled out with false or incomplete information
- Paying off court officials to process fraudulent bankruptcy forms or claims
- Making multiple bankruptcy filings – either by filing for bankruptcy more than once, back-to-back in the same state with false information (including information obtained through identity theft) or by filing for bankruptcy in various states
When it comes to prosecuting those accused of bankruptcy fraud, the Department of Justice is vigilant, and the accused can face devastating penalties – especially if they are also accused and convicted of other serious types of fraud, such as federal tax fraud, bank or mortgage fraud, etc. What can be just as scary as the potential penalties associated with bankruptcy fraud is the fact that some people accused of the crime may have never intentionally tried to commit it in the first place; specifically, simply making mistakes on complicated bankruptcy forms could be enough to bring on charges of bankruptcy fraud.
If you are facing seemingly insurmountable debt and are looking for a financial fresh start, make sure that your case is filed according to all legal standards by contacting the trusted Colorado debt relief and bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Office of Jon B. Clarke, P.C. Our experienced legal professionals are committed to providing each of our Clients with the debt relief assistance they need, and we will work relentlessly to ensure that our Clients’ cases are resolved as favorably and efficiently as possible. For a thorough assessment of your situation, along with expert advice regarding the best manner in which to move forward to unburden yourself from debt, call us at (866) 916-3950.