A popular Maryland minister was sentenced to 27 months in prison in July for obstructing bankruptcy court proceedings.
According to NBC4 Washington, Robert “Dr. Shine” Freeman, 56, of Indian Head, who founded Save the Seed Ministry, Save the Seed International Church and Seed Faith International Church, hid millions of dollars in assets when he filed for bankruptcy protection in 2005. The U.S. Attorney’s Office released a statement following Freeman’s sentencing:
Shortly after February 2001, Freeman used funds from church members to accumulate substantial assets, including 11 luxury cars valued at over $1,073,000 and a $1.75 million residence in Indian Head, Maryland, which he concealed from the bankruptcy court when he sought a discharge of his debts from the court in 2005.
More specifically, from 2002 to 2006, Freeman caused two Lincoln Town cars, two Mercedes Benz cars, two Volkswagon Phaetons, a Bentley Arnage vehicle and a $1.75 million residence on the Potomac River to be purchased in the names of church members. The Maryland residence, located in Indian Head, comprised about 9,000 square feet, with a deep water pier, a 20,000 pound covered boat lift, a jet ski lift, two four car garages, five fireplaces and a gym with steam room. Freeman also caused a Maybach vehicle to be leased in the name of a church member.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, due to the fact that he concealed financial information and hid property, Freeman was able to discharge hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt.
This week we will talk about how you should never conceal assets when filing for bankruptcy. Dishonesty with the court and your trustee during a bankruptcy filing can lead to serious consequences. In addition to his prison sentence, a judge ordered Freeman to pay $631,050 in restitution.
If you have large amounts of debt, bankruptcy is an option. Visit our website for more information about the benefits of bankruptcy, or call us at (202) 483-6070 to schedule an appointment.
Law Firm of Kevin D. Judd– Washington DC and Maryland bankruptcy attorney