Bankruptcy Fraud: Illinois Man Sentenced Five Months in Federal Prison for Concealing Assets

William Cecil Griffin, 62, of Ashland, Ill was sentenced to 5 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to concealing assets when he filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009.  Griffin was also ordered to pay over $40,000 in restitution to creditors. After completing his prison term he will be under home confinement for 5 months; part of a 3 year supervised release.

In February of this year, Griffin pled guilty to one count of concealing assets during his bankruptcy case. In his Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in August 2009, Griffin lied about experiencing fire losses related to a home he owned in Virginia, Ill.  The house was worth roughly $35,000.  He claims he didn’t experience a fire loss at his home within a year of filing his petition, but he filed his petition just days after experiencing a fire to his home.  His home and contents were a total loss.

Between August 2009 and October 2009, Griffin received funds from his insurance company totaling close to $97,000.  When Griffin had the meeting of the creditors in September 2009, he lied while under oath claiming to own a house.

The charges came about when FBI investigators were referred to the case by the U.S. Trustee for Indiana and Central and Southern Illinois.  The Central Illinois Bankruptcy Fraud Working Group also took part in prosecution.  Many consumers feel they can get away with concealing assets but fail to realize it is a federal offense that may have a big influence on how bankruptcy proceedings are completed.

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