A representative of the 46th Assembly District in Brooklyn has been indicted on bankruptcy fraud charges in addition to allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from government agencies and a host of additional charges. The 11 count indictment that was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn on Tuesday, January 9th included two counts of wire fraud, four counts of making false statements, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, witness tampering, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and two counts of bankruptcy fraud. The assembly member is accused of defrauding federal and state government agencies through a series of intricate schemes.
The Assemblywoman allegedly used her non-profit organization whose mission was to help underprivileged children in Coney Island to defraud New York State taxpayers. Money from the New York City Council was used by the organization to not pay the organization’s rent as she had claimed, but was instead diverted into her personal checking account pay for personal expenses which included vacations and shopping mall purchases. She would go on to commit an identical scheme for additional funds.
After Hurricane Sandy, the Assemblywoman concocted another ploy which involved obtaining $25,000 in Funds due to storm damage to here Coney Island residence. She is accused of submitting fake documents in order to obtain financial assistance for the construction work done to her home. In total, prosecutors claim that she stole at least $59,000 and had construction fraudulently done to her home at the expense of taxpayers.
Bankruptcy Fraud Charges
In November of 2013, the representative then filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection while still receiving over $1500 per month from FEMA. Department of Justice officials claim that the woman made false or misleading statements to the bankruptcy trustee in order to hide funds she obtained through fraud. Bankruptcy fraud carries a penalty of 5 years in jail for each bankruptcy case in addition to monetary restitution to creditors and is thus a very serious crime. Unfortunately for the Brooklyn Assembly Member, bankruptcy fraud is the least of her worries as lying to FEMA and committing wire fraud carry maximum sentences of 30 years in prison.
What many individuals who commit white collar crimes don’t realize is that when you file bankruptcy the courts and the bankruptcy trustees do a thorough investigation into your financial history. It is nearly impossible to hide assets or transfer them without a trustee finding out. Always follow your bankruptcy attorney’s advice in being completely honest and transparent when filing for bankruptcy protection.