We have previously written about how important it is for a Debtor to be honest during the bankruptcy process. This was a particularly important lesson in a Chicago courtroom last month. Lynn Y. Zoiopoulos, an Illinois physician, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison because she concealed assets in her Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
According to the plea agreement she signed, in 2001 Zoiopoulos became the executor of her grandmother’s estate. As executor, Zoiopoulos was charged with managing assets, and filing both tax returns, and status reports for the estate. According to the same plea agreement, Zoiopoulos purchased a $550,000 annuity on behalf of the estate, and used the balance for her own personal benefit. In the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy she filed in 2009 Zoiopoulos never disclosed the interest in the estate and that she was using the funds to pay her bills.
Zoiopoulos further admitted that when family members began to inquire about the status of the estate she told them that the balance was invested in real estate. Zoiopoulos admitted to sending her sister a $35,000 check in an effort to hide the mismanagement and theft that was occurring.
On December 2, 2016, Zoiopoulos pleaded guilty to embezzlement and bankruptcy fraud. In addition to 30 months in federal prison, she will also serve six months of supervised release and make restitution in the amount of $858,765.68.
As part of the bankruptcy process, a filer must disclose all property, income, and debts.and declare under penalty of perjury that the information provided is true and correct. Not only does this keep the bankruptcy fair and available to those who need it, it also criminalizes those who use the bankruptcy system dishonestly.
We have helped borrowers all over New Jersey honestly and ethically file bankruptcy. Whether you are ready to file or just exploring your options, we can help. During your free consultation, the knowledgeable attorneys of Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. will carefully explain the bankruptcy process so you can make an informed decision about how to best proceed. Contact us today at 973-323-2953 to schedule a free initial consultation.