Bankruptcy fraud is serious business and the courts do not tread on the issue lightly. While it is possible to unknowingly commit bankruptcy fraud by hiding assets or concealing information about finances, there are plenty of cases that involve purposeful acts of crime. A South Texas man and his wife have been convicted and sentenced to jail time for their crimes of insurance and bankruptcy fraud.
A 53 year old man from Brownsville, Texas plead guilty this week to conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud. Michael Giventer and his wife, Julia Shavabskaya, were first investigated back 2001 for their role in an insurance scheme. Operating an automobile collision insurance scam, the couple filed thousands of false claims with the State Farm Insurance agency from the period of 1992 to 1997. In December of 2001, the Giventer was ordered to pay State Farm $8.6 million to State Farm for the fraudulent claims and profits collected.
Six months after the court order to pay millions in restitution, Giventer transferred most of his assets to his new wife in a premarital agreement in efforts to avoid liquidation of the assets from creditors. When Giventer filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2005, he lied about his interests in two companies, his income and the presence of previously transferred assets. His wife later lied about the facts and attempted to cover Giventer’s story in court. Both Giventer and his wife are facing up to five years in prison for the concealment of assets and false testimony in court.