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Four defendants in the Southern District of West Virginia have been charged in separate cases with various bankruptcy crimes in a small fraud sweep that U.S. Attorney Charles T. Miller hopes will "serve as a warning to those who would abuse the [bankruptcy] system." Victoria Caudill was charged with concealing assets (18 U.S.C. 152(1)), making a false declaration (18 U.S.C. 152(3)) and devising a bankruptcy fraud scheme (157(3)) for allegedly transferring a $60,000 workers' compensation settlement payment to a bank account not in her name and then failing to disclose the account in multiple filings in her bankruptcy case. Clinton Smith was indicted and charged with concealing assets (18 U.S.C. 152(1)), making a false declaration (18 U.S.C. 152(3)) and devising a bankruptcy fraud scheme (157(3)) for allegedly failing to disclose in his bankruptcy case his interest in an income stream from the sale of a 50 acre parcel of property formerly jointly owned with his then wife. Jennifer Longwell was charged by indictment with two counts of making a false oath (18 U.S.C. 152(2)) and one count of concealing assets (18 U.S.C. 152(1)) in her bankruptcy case for allegedly not disclosing the proceeds she received from the sale of two parcels of real estate and then giving false testimony at the meeting of creditors concerning the same transactions.
10 years 6 months ago
As expected, Joey Diekemper has reached a plea agreement with the government and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud in Illinois bankruptcy fraud case with ties to a double homocide of two potential witnesses.  Diekemper entered a guilty plea on Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Proud.  Outside of court, Diekemper's attorney denied his client had any involvement with the deaths of neighbors who owned the property on which a tractor Diekemper was charged with concealing was allegedly stashed.  Sentencing is scheduled for March 9.  Diekemper's wife, who previously pleaded guilty to conspiring with her husband to conceal assets in their bankruptcy case, will be sentenced on the same date.
10 years 6 months ago
As expected, Joey Diekemper has reached a plea agreement with the government and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud in Illinois bankruptcy fraud case with ties to a double homocide of two potential witnesses.  Diekemper entered a guilty plea on Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Proud.  Outside of court, Diekemper's attorney denied his client had any involvement with the deaths of neighbors who owned the property on which a tractor Diekemper was charged with concealing was allegedly stashed.  Sentencing is scheduled for March 9.  Diekemper's wife, who previously pleaded guilty to conspiring with her husband to conceal assets in their bankruptcy case, will be sentenced on the same date.
10 years 6 months ago
Several news outlets here and here are now reporting that Joseph Diekemper, whose wife's guilty plea to conspiracy to conceal assets in bankruptcy case we reported here, is due in court tomorrow for a change of plea hearing.  He is expected to plead guilty under a plea agreement with the government in a case of bankruptcy fraud that also has ties to a double homocide.  For details of the alleged connection and of the deaths of two potential witnesses in the bankruptcy criminal case, see our previous post here
10 years 6 months ago
Several news outlets here and here are now reporting that Joseph Diekemper, whose wife's guilty plea to conspiracy to conceal assets in bankruptcy case we reported here, is due in court tomorrow for a change of plea hearing.  He is expected to plead guilty under a plea agreement with the government in a case of bankruptcy fraud that also has ties to a double homocide.  For details of the alleged connection and of the deaths of two potential witnesses in the bankruptcy criminal case, see our previous post here
10 years 6 months ago
Margaret Diekemper pleaded guilty in the Southern District of Illinois to conspiring with her husband, Joseph "Joey" Diekemper, to conceal assets in their bankruptcy case.  Twenty-two other felony counts will be dismissed as part of plea bargain.  The couple was indicted in June on numerous bankruptcy felony counts inlcuding concealing assets in their multi-million dollar bankruptcy case.  Joseph is incarcerated while awaiting trial on the bankruptcy fraud charges pending against him because a judge revoked his bond for weapons violations. In a seperate investigation related to the same case, authorities are also investigating the deaths of two potential witnesses found shot to death on property where the couple allegedly hid a tractor they were charged with concealing.  According to news reports citing an FBI memo, the killings came only days after one of the victims approached the FBI about the tractor and told investigators that he was worried that Joseph would burn down his house.  Firefighters found the bodies while responding to a fire at the victims' home. Margaret is scheduled to be sentenced on February 9th.
10 years 6 months ago
Margaret Diekemper pleaded guilty in the Southern District of Illinois to conspiring with her husband, Joseph "Joey" Diekemper, to conceal assets in their bankruptcy case.  Twenty-two other felony counts will be dismissed as part of plea bargain.  The couple was indicted in June on numerous bankruptcy felony counts inlcuding concealing assets in their multi-million dollar bankruptcy case.  Joseph is incarcerated while awaiting trial on the bankruptcy fraud charges pending against him because a judge revoked his bond for weapons violations. In a seperate investigation related to the same case, authorities are also investigating the deaths of two potential witnesses found shot to death on property where the couple allegedly hid a tractor they were charged with concealing.  According to news reports citing an FBI memo, the killings came only days after one of the victims approached the FBI about the tractor and told investigators that he was worried that Joseph would burn down his house.  Firefighters found the bodies while responding to a fire at the victims' home. Margaret is scheduled to be sentenced on February 9th.
10 years 6 months ago
For those last 2 remaining readers left after all this time, E-Everything is going dark, fini, no mas. Even though these dark economic times should be the golden days of the modern bankruptcy era, the only thing that can truly counted on these days is change.I am not really certain what the procedure should be to close out a "blawg", but most of the established blawgs I read are all done by lawyers who are partners or owners of their respective practices. I am neither, and am leaving the nest for bigger and better things. While I hope to stay active in the bankruptcy courts, I have joined forces with a dear friend from law school who is the founding member of the Burris Law Firm in Eagle Pass, Texas. There, I will be joining Brian Burris in doing God's work to bring justice to the oppressed and relief to those in need. While that move opens many doors, it also closes a few, and this blawg happens to be one of them. With no heir apparent, E-Everything will be left, preserved in its current state until some e-archaeologist or some future summer intern with the American Bankruptcy Institute finds my posts in the hubris of the Internet, and sadly marvels at the blasphemies of a young lawyer whose ideas were "before their time."I estimate that I have well over 200 early morning and late evening hours invested in this project, mostly for naught.
10 years 7 months ago
For those last 2 remaining readers left after all this time, E-Everything is going dark, fini, no mas. Even though these dark economic times should be the golden days of the modern bankruptcy era, the only thing that can truly counted on these days is change.I am not really certain what the procedure should be to close out a "blawg", but most of the established blawgs I read are all done by lawyers who are partners or owners of their respective practices. I am neither, and am leaving the nest for bigger and better things. While I hope to stay active in the bankruptcy courts, I have joined forces with a dear friend from law school who is the founding member of the Burris Law Firm in Eagle Pass, Texas. There, I will be joining Brian Burris in doing God's work to bring justice to the oppressed and relief to those in need. While that move opens many doors, it also closes a few, and this blawg happens to be one of them. With no heir apparent, E-Everything will be left, preserved in its current state until some e-archaeologist or some future summer intern with the American Bankruptcy Institute finds my posts in the hubris of the Internet, and sadly marvels at the blasphemies of a young lawyer whose ideas were "before their time."I estimate that I have well over 200 early morning and late evening hours invested in this project, mostly for naught.
10 years 7 months ago
Does a false declaration made knowingly and fraudulenly in a bankruptcy case need to be "material" to constitute a bankruptcy crime?  The statute prohibiting such statements (18 U.S.C. 152(3)) does not expressly say so but for years courts have held or assumed that a false statement in a bankruptcy case must relate to a material matter to constitute a crime.  At the same time, the settled definitions of materiality were stated so broadly ("capable of influencing the result of the proceeding;" "pertinent to the debtor's financial transactions;" "related to possible discovery of an asset or area for inquiry") that the additional element seldom (if ever) provided an obstacle to prosecution - or conviction.  But just when we thought the law was static, suddently it appears to be moving again, albeit slowly - and in opposite directions.  
10 years 7 months ago
Does a false declaration made knowingly and fraudulenly in a bankruptcy case need to be "material" to constitute a bankruptcy crime?  The statute prohibiting such statements (18 U.S.C. 152(3)) does not expressly say so but for years courts have held or assumed that a false statement in a bankruptcy case must relate to a material matter to constitute a crime.  At the same time, the settled definitions of materiality were stated so broadly ("capable of influencing the result of the proceeding;" "pertinent to the debtor's financial transactions;" "related to possible discovery of an asset or area for inquiry") that the additional element seldom (if ever) provided an obstacle to prosecution - or conviction.  But just when we thought the law was static, suddently it appears to be moving again, albeit slowly - and in opposite directions.  
10 years 7 months ago
Now that debtors must produce copies of their tax returns in bankruptcy cases as part of the bankruptcy laws' already numerous disclosure requirements it was only a matter of time before we began to see some criminal cases built on debtors' making or using false writings (or documents containing false statements) within an executive branch matter in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001. Don W. Reinhard, whose indictment in the Northern District of Florida we first commented on here, is  charged with 2 counts of violating 18 U.S.C. 1001 by allegedly submitting to the Assistant U.S. Trustee 2002 and 2005 U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns knowing that each contained false entries.  The 2002 return (filed in January 2007) allegedly falsely claimed a net operating loss carry back from Reinhard's 2005 return that enabled him to avoid paying $385,064 in taxes.  The 2005 return allegedly falsely overstated Reinhard's basis in real property that he sold by approximately $1.9 million.
10 years 7 months ago
Now that debtors must produce copies of their tax returns in bankruptcy cases as part of the bankruptcy laws' already numerous disclosure requirements it was only a matter of time before we began to see some criminal cases built on debtors' making or using false writings (or documents containing false statements) within an executive branch matter in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001. Don W. Reinhard, whose indictment in the Northern District of Florida we first commented on here, is  charged with 2 counts of violating 18 U.S.C. 1001 by allegedly submitting to the Assistant U.S. Trustee 2002 and 2005 U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns knowing that each contained false entries.  The 2002 return (filed in January 2007) allegedly falsely claimed a net operating loss carry back from Reinhard's 2005 return that enabled him to avoid paying $385,064 in taxes.  The 2005 return allegedly falsely overstated Reinhard's basis in real property that he sold by approximately $1.9 million.
10 years 7 months ago
Updating a case we reported on earlier (here) Moty Rosenkrantz a/k/a Michael Rosenkrantz, the owner of B&W Motor Cars, pled guilty to structuring banking transactions to avoid reporting requirements and making a false oath in a bankruptcy case.  The defendant admitted in his guilty plea that in July 2003 he filed a bankruptcy petition in which he falsely reported that no financial accounts in his name had been closed in the preceding year when in fact he had closed at least 7 bank accounts in March 2003. Rosenkrantz was sentenced in the District of New Jersey to 48 months in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $10,000.
10 years 7 months ago
Updating a case we reported on earlier (here) Moty Rosenkrantz a/k/a Michael Rosenkrantz, the owner of B&W Motor Cars, pled guilty to structuring banking transactions to avoid reporting requirements and making a false oath in a bankruptcy case.  The defendant admitted in his guilty plea that in July 2003 he filed a bankruptcy petition in which he falsely reported that no financial accounts in his name had been closed in the preceding year when in fact he had closed at least 7 bank accounts in March 2003. Rosenkrantz was sentenced in the District of New Jersey to 48 months in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $10,000.
10 years 7 months ago
An introduction: I am a 51 year old attorney who lives and works in Worcester, Massachusetts. I am "of counsel" to the law firm of Seder & Chandler, LLP, on Main Street in Worcester, and I concentrate my practice on bankruptcy (commercial and small business bankruptcy , as well as consumer bankruptcy), with a  litigation focus. To find out a little bit more about my practice and my firm, please visit sederlaw.com.My interests outside of my practice include: being (an older) father to my two sons; playing volleyball; performing on the community theater stage; and reading and watching sci-fi and fantasy (in my spare time). Big Game of Thrones fan here, way back to 1996. I can discourse on the BoSox, the Pats, or the Celts and seem like I know what I'm talking about. I also enjoy good food, good wine, good beer, and good company -- you may see a restaurant review or two posted here.My goals here are to post on bankruptcy legal topics that interest me. Nothing in this blog is intended to be specific or complete legal advice and is for general informational purposes only. In other words, you are only getting the tip of the iceberg here – call and schedule a consultation with me if you think what you read here might apply to you and your situation.Because I'm a lawyer, there has to be at least ONE final disclaimer -- nothing in this blog represents the view of my firm, Seder & Chandler, LLP, or any of its individual members -- except me.
11 years 5 days ago
At long last, proposed Federal Rule of Evidence 502 has been introduced to the Senate as S.2450. In a nutshell, FRE 502 is intended to reduce the likelihood of waiver of attorney-client privilege and work product in an age where even simple litigation can involve thousands of "pages" of documents, meta-data and data-enabled doughnuts. Over the summer, I had an article published by the Bankruptcy Section of the State Bar of Texas concerning the proposed rule called: Bankruptcy Secrets and the Proposed Federal Rule of Evidence 502. Some of the highlighted concerns originally covered in that article are alive and well in S.2450. Without reproducing the article (the link above should be good), the overriding purpose of the proposed rule is purportedly the protection of the attorney-client privilege while controlling the spiralling costs of litigation due to electronic review necessary to protect privilege. Without naming names, there are those outside of the profession (and perhaps inside the profession) that view the bill as an Omnibus Lawyer Malpractice Shield... and Consumer Protection Act.
11 years 6 months ago
At long last, proposed Federal Rule of Evidence 502 has been introduced to the Senate as S.2450. In a nutshell, FRE 502 is intended to reduce the likelihood of waiver of attorney-client privilege and work product in an age where even simple litigation can involve thousands of "pages" of documents, meta-data and data-enabled doughnuts. Over the summer, I had an article published by the Bankruptcy Section of the State Bar of Texas concerning the proposed rule called: Bankruptcy Secrets and the Proposed Federal Rule of Evidence 502. Some of the highlighted concerns originally covered in that article are alive and well in S.2450. Without reproducing the article (the link above should be good), the overriding purpose of the proposed rule is purportedly the protection of the attorney-client privilege while controlling the spiralling costs of litigation due to electronic review necessary to protect privilege. Without naming names, there are those outside of the profession (and perhaps inside the profession) that view the bill as an Omnibus Lawyer Malpractice Shield... and Consumer Protection Act.
11 years 6 months ago
Now that December 1 has come and gone, and another set of amendments of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure has become effective, time for a belated reminder that Bankruptcy Rule 9037 has been adopted. For those of you who, like me, have been too busy filing amended pleadings to replace outdated Official Forms and creating notice pleadings for small business case financial disclosures, it is time to turn your attention to 9037.Rule 9037 mirrors many federal court local rules, and existing statutory law in many states, regarding the filing of record or other disclosure of individual identifying information such as social security numbers, year of birth, account numbers of financial accounts, and the names of minors. The reasons for the rule are obvious, but the the long-term implication for lawyers, commercial clients, and any user of "data-enabled" forms should not be overlooked, as the story below makes clear. Have a Happy Friday.
11 years 6 months ago
Now that December 1 has come and gone, and another set of amendments of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure has become effective, time for a belated reminder that Bankruptcy Rule 9037 has been adopted. For those of you who, like me, have been too busy filing amended pleadings to replace outdated Official Forms and creating notice pleadings for small business case financial disclosures, it is time to turn your attention to 9037.Rule 9037 mirrors many federal court local rules, and existing statutory law in many states, regarding the filing of record or other disclosure of individual identifying information such as social security numbers, year of birth, account numbers of financial accounts, and the names of minors. The reasons for the rule are obvious, but the the long-term implication for lawyers, commercial clients, and any user of "data-enabled" forms should not be overlooked, as the story below makes clear. Have a Happy Friday.
11 years 6 months ago

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