Bankruptcy fraud is a very serious offense, and this crime is typically caught by the bankruptcy trustee or judge in most cases. In the last few years the number of bankruptcy fraud cases have increased. Individuals who commit this crime range across all income and celebrity levels, from the rich and famous to the less affluent and less well known of society.
Lenny Dykstra, who used to play as an outfielder for the New York Mets, recently entered a guilty plea to more than one count of bankruptcy fraud. The charges include allegations of laundering money and concealing assets from the bankruptcy court. Dykstra could receive up to 20 years in prison, not to mention a fine that may involve hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to the records Dykstra filed for bankruptcy several years ago. During the same time period Dykstra also purchased a mansion that Wayne Gretsky had owned. When Dykstra filed for bankruptcy he claimed that he had total outstanding debts in an amount over $30 million but that the assets he owned were worth about $50,000.
Investigators learned that there were some false statements made by Dykstra in an attempt to mislead the bankruptcy court. It is alleged that Dykstra destroyed or concealed assets, and that he sold some of the items in the bankruptcy estate without reporting these sales and the proceeds he received. All of this was done without the knowledge or permission of the bankruptcy trustee.
The investigation charges that Lenny Dykstra sold $8,000 worth of items that were covered under the bankruptcy process, and then Dykstra told the court that the items sold were still located in storage. The bankruptcy court also determined that Dykstra hid a number of items related to baseball memorabilia. These items were recovered and sold for approximately $15,000, which was used to pay off creditors in the case.
Bankruptcy fraud does not just affect the rich and famous. Most fraud is the result of criminal actions but in some cases the fraud can result from trying to handle your own case without an attorney. There are very strict requirements regarding what debts, assets, and income must be reported when you file for bankruptcy. Failing to report income or assets is fraud, whether this failure was the result of criminal action or simply an oversight on your part.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you avoid any pitfalls in a bankruptcy case and ensure that all of the required reporting and documentation is taken care of. Trying to navigate bankruptcy without a qualified legal professional is normally a big mistake that can be very expensive to fix. Even if there is no fraud allegations you could end up having your case dismissed due to a minor error or legal technicality. This means losing the filing fee and starting over again from scratch.
The bankruptcy attorneys at Richard West Law can help you with a free debt consolidation consultation so that you find the right answer for your unique debt problems and circumstances. Visit https://www.debtfreeohio.com or call (513)771-8700 or (937)748-1749 to get the answers you want, and the financial relief you are looking for.