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Man hides bankruptcy assets, gets jail time

Bankruptcy offers an incredible, life-changing opportunity to create a clean slate in your personal and professional life and create a fresh start for yourself. However, it must be undertaken with great sobriety and executed painstakingly, or else you may face serious legal consequences.

For many individuals, the emotional weight of the circumstances that bring them to consider a bankruptcy can have a regrettable effect on their judgement, leading them to make choices that land them in legal hot water.

Just such cauldron of legal hot water was played out recently when a businessman undergoing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attempted to hide some assets that were associated with his dying business. The man and and his wife were both a part of the bankruptcy proceedings, leading them to face numerous charges of wire fraud, bankruptcy fraud and money laundering, concealing assets in bankruptcy, and making false declarations in a bankruptcy proceeding.

If you're thinking that is quite a laundry list of charges, you're right. If the court had seen fit to throw the book at them and pursue maximum sentencing, they would each have faced possible decades behind bars.

Fortunately, in their cases, they were able to reach plea deals that reduced their sentences to one count aiding and abetting each other apiece. Compared to what they might have faced, that is a relative slap on the wrist. Still, the businessman is currently facing two years behind bars, and has been given until June 30, 2017, to surrender himself to authorities.

Clearly, bankruptcy does not magically make everything better — in fact, a poorly executed bankruptcy may leave you worse off than you were to begin with. For this and many more reasons, it is always advisable to seek the guidance of experienced attorneys when undertaking a bankruptcy. With the guidance of qualified bankruptcy attorneys, you can explore all your options and rest assured that the process will be executed professionally.

Source: San Antonio Express News, "Former head of produce firm gets prison for hiding bankruptcy assets," Guillermo Contreras, Feb. 16, 2017

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