A Springfield Illinois Man, Mark A. McFarland, 58, plead guilty in February of this year to two counts of bankruptcy fraud in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis. Mr. McFarland, who has filed bankruptcy 10 times over the period of just five years learned his fate this week (of which 9 were dismissed due to failure to follow Bankrtupcy procedures). He will serve a year in prison for the fraud as the Acting United States Attorney announced a crackdown on those who would take advantage of creditors by using the bankruptcy laws of the United States in an illegal and manipulative manner.
McFarland was the president of a non-for-profit organization called Second Chance Inc., which was a rehabilitation program designed for ex-offenders, both adult and juvenile. His biggest mistake that drew the eye of authorities and the bankruptcy court, was an amendment to his bankruptcy petition stating that the company had a different address supported by a lease that had been fraudulently backdated to September of 2014. A small offense some would say, but in bankruptcy, individuals are asked a series of questions and are expected to be totally truthful about all assets and matters that affect the bankruptcy case. Any time that someone conceals assets or lies in bankruptcy proceedings, they are cheating the creditors and diminishing the entire bankruptcy process
McFarland received what could considered a light sentence of one year in jail, as each count of bankruptcy fraud can be punishable for up to 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, restitution, and up to 3 years of supervised probation. Several other fraudulent bankruptcy indictments were pursued by the US States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois this week as well in an effort to find and punish individuals who engage in dishonest or manipulative activity to essentially steal from their creditors.