Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ashland Man Sentenced to Five Months in Federal Prison for Concealing Assets in a Bankruptcy Proceeding

U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough today sentenced William Cecil Griffin, 62, of Ashland, Illinois, to a term of five months in federal prison for concealing assets in a bankruptcy proceeding. Griffin was also ordered to pay restitution to creditors in the amount of $40,311. Following completion of his prison term, Griffin was ordered to serve three years’ supervised release, with the first five months to be served as home confinement. The federal Bureau of Prisons will advise Griffin of his report date and designated institution.

On February 21, 2012, Griffin pled guilty to one count of concealing assets in a bankruptcy proceeding. Griffin admitted that on August 10, 2009, when he filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, he falsely stated that he had no fire losses within a year prior to filing the petition and that he owned a house in Virginia, Illinois valued at $35,000. In fact, on August 5, 2009, a fire had destroyed Griffin’s house and its contents, and on August 6, 2009, Griffin had reported the fire loss to his insurance company. Between August 14, 2009 and October 28, 2009, Griffin received insurance proceeds on his claim totaling $96,749. On September 21, 2009, at a meeting of creditors, Griffin falsely testified under oath that he had a house.

The charges resulted from a referral by the U.S. Trustee for Indiana and Central and Southern Illinois (Region 10) and an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in coordination with the Central Illinois Bankruptcy Fraud Working Group. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Harris prosecuted the case.

“Concealing assets in a bankruptcy proceeding is a crime that threatens the integrity of the bankruptcy process and public confidence in that process,” stated Nancy J. Gargula, United States Trustee for Indiana and Central and Southern Illinois (Region 10). “We are grateful to all of our law enforcement partners in this case and, in particular, to U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis for his commitment to pursuing those who commit bankruptcy fraud.” The U.S. Trustee Program is the component of the Justice Department that protects the integrity of the bankruptcy system by overseeing case administration and litigating to enforce the bankruptcy laws. Region 10 of the U.S. Trustee Program is headquartered in Indianapolis, with additional offices in South Bend, Indiana, and Peoria, Illinois.

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