What is bankruptcy fraud?
Bankruptcy fraud is a serious crime that can have devastating consequences for those who commit it. It occurs when someone deliberately lies or conceals information in order to gain legal protection from creditors through the filing of a bankruptcy claim. Bankruptcy fraud can take many forms, including false statements, misrepresentation of assets and liabilities, and illegally transferring assets to avoid having them seized by creditors. It is estimated that billions of dollars in fraudulent claims are made each year in the United States alone.
The U.S. Trustee Program is responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases of bankruptcy fraud under Title 18 of the U.S Code (section 152). Penalties for committing bankruptcy fraud include fines up to $250,000 and imprisonment up to 5 years or both depending on the severity of the offense.
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