An Illinois man pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud earlier this month after he concealed money from a lawsuit settlement he was expecting to receive.
According to the Associated Press, David E. Woodside, 37, of Tamaroa, Illinois was charged with “repeatedly failing” to disclose during bankruptcy proceedings that he expected to receive more than $10,000 from a settlement.
The AP reports that Woodside filed for bankruptcy in 2009, seeking to discharge almost $49,500 in debt. The civil settlement reportedly involved a 2003 train derailment near Woodside’s home.
Woodside’s case should serve as a reminder that you need to disclose all assets, including assets you expect to gain over the course of your case, during your bankruptcy filing. When you sign a bankruptcy petition, you do so under the penalty of perjury. If you file for bankruptcy, you need to be as honest as possible with your attorney and answer all questions truthfully.
An attorney can only fill out a petition using the information you provide—if you lie to your attorney or hide information from him or her, the entire process is dishonest. Because of his failure to disclose the settlement, Woodside faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is expected to be sentenced next spring.
Often, bankruptcy is the best way to dig out of a financial hole. Filing for bankruptcy allows you to discharge unsecured debts like credit card debt and medical bills. If your financial situation is a problem, contact our Washington DC and Maryland bankruptcy lawyer now for a free consultation.