Bankruptcy officials in South Florida discovered a couple was hiding assets from the courts while filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. When bankruptcy trustees paid a surprise visit to the couple’s home, they discovered a Presidential Rolex watch suddenly disappeared from the wife’s wrist. The discovery led to investigators uncovering $120,000 worth of hidden assets in the form of jewelry and artwork, all of which the couple claimed to have pawned.
The judge decided to reject the couple’s request to discharge their debts totaling $2.9 million as a result of the lies and concealing assets. Seven years after their failed attempt at filing for bankruptcy protection, the couple was charged with one count of bankruptcy fraud and sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison.
The couple still owes all of the original debts plus an additional $27,295 in restitution owed for the trustee’s services. The couple’s behavior caused them to lose their homes and their personal belongings, including family heirlooms, jewelry and clothing, much of which was auctioned off at “fire sale prices.”
This case comes as a warning to anyone considering hiding assets when filing for bankruptcy. This can include: lying about owning assets, transferring assets into someone else’s name or creating fake liens or mortgages to make assets look as if they have no value. When you file for bankruptcy, you must disclose everything you own and all your debts, in exchange for having your debts “discharged.” If you do not fully disclose your assets, you will not be granted a discharge. However, this is just one of the consequences you will face. You will also be subject to criminal penalties and will not be able to discharge those debts in subsequent bankruptcies.
Click here to read more on this story.
If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.