Bankruptcy Fraud Carries Heavy Penalties

A 89 year old decorated World War II combat veteran, suffering from cancer, was recently evicted from his home and land where his wife is buried, and his assets were seized.

What did he do to deserve this fate? He committed bankruptcy fraud.

Renn Bodecker buried $66,000 in gold and silver in his back yard in Montana, filed bankruptcy, and failed to report the hidden asset. According to an article in the Missoulian, Bodecker considered the gold and silver his retirement. Retirement money is generally protected during bankruptcy, but only when it is kept in a legally protected retirement account, like a 401k or an IRA.

Bodecker’s stepson reported the hidden property to the bankruptcy trustee, who then threatened Bodecker with criminal action unless he turned over the asset and waived his homestead protection. Boedecker’s home is owned free and clear, and is exempt from creditors under Montana law up to $250,000.

After Bodecker signed the waiver, the trustee seized the home and evicted him.

Boedecker says that he owes more than $109,000 to credit card companies and medical debts due to his wife’s prolonged illness prior to her death. The trustee intends to sell the home and the gold and silver to pay his creditors in full. Of course, the trustee will receive a handsome sum for her work on the case as an “administrative expense.”

Bankruptcy fraud is a very serious offense. Penalties can include a loss of property exemptions, denial of discharge, or even jail time. With the proper advice from an experienced bankruptcy attorney, Mr. Boedecker could have received the benefits of a bankruptcy discharge and kept his assets and his home. Unfortunately, he chose to conceal assets and is paying a heavy price for his dishonesty.

If you need financial protection from the federal bankruptcy code, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney and discuss your case. Your attorney can explain how you can keep your assets and obtain the maximum relief from the bankruptcy laws.

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