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Errors can lead to accusations of bankruptcy fraud

Many Washington residents will encounter a period of financial strain. Whether that span of time lasts for a few weeks or a few years, it can be incredibly stressful to deal with mounting bills and expenses while income and savings dwindle. Personal bankruptcy is a tool that can help individuals and families regain their financial footing and work toward a more stable future. However, it is important to avoid errors in the paperwork surrounding a bankruptcy case; failure to do so can result in accusations of bankruptcy fraud.

The courts do not take bankruptcy fraud lightly, as evidenced in the case of a former neurosurgeon who stands accused of lying under oath and fraudulently concealing and transferring assets. Prosecutors allege that the man intentionally hid financial transfers that totaled more than $500,000. He is also accused of attempting to shield certain items of personal property from the bankruptcy proceeding.

If convicted, the man is at risk of prison time in addition to a $250,000 fine. As of the time of this report, he is ordered to provide $2.3 million to a bankruptcy estate. Those funds are to be distributed to creditors, including some of the man's former patients and business partners.

It is important to note that as of the time of this report, no determination has been made regarding this man's guilt. In most cases, Washington residents who seek bankruptcy protection are not dealing with this level of wealth or debt. That said, it is important that all bankruptcy paperwork is accurately and properly completed and filed to avoid any chance of impropriety. Many accusations of bankruptcy fraud could be avoided by meticulous attention to detail throughout the bankruptcy process.

Source: billingsgazette.com, "Former Billings neurosurgeon charged with bankruptcy fraud", Clair Johnson, Sept. 29, 2017

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