Concealing Assets in a Bankruptcy Case

Wed, Nov 21, 2012


People try and conceal assets for many reasons. Some types of cases that people conceal assets in are divorce, bankruptcy, and tax cases. Trying to conceal some side investments in a bankruptcy case would allow the person to keep those assets to use later, when they have lost a lot of their others. A divorce case might inspire a spouse to conceal assets so the equitable distribution that Florida law requires ends up not being so equitable. And people are constantly trying to hide assets or income from the IRS.

It is just never a good idea to conceal assets. It is illegal and the ramifications are vast and are not worth it. Each case of concealing assets comes with its own penalties, so we will not even try to discuss each one. But, as a Sarasota, Florida bankruptcy attorney, Christopher D. Smith of SmithLaw is aware of the penalties for concealing assets in a bankruptcy case.

The United States Code’s Title 18 is the federal government’s penal code. Part I, Chapter 9 discusses bankruptcy and concealment of assets. It states that the penalty is a fine or imprisonment up to 5 years, or both. If that is not enough, your case would be thrown out or you would have to start over. In addition, the IRS might want to talk to you about some of your asset concealment.

Now, you say you might have accidentally concealed something. The court would investigate that too. Mistakes can happen, but a good attorney should help you discover all of your assets and we hope you have kept good records of all of your legal and financial activities. But, suddenly discovering assets or having them discovered for you is frowned on by the courts and trustees and it will affect your case, intentional or not.

Think twice before concealing assets in a bankruptcy case. This article in the Tampa Bay Times details some of the ramifications if you do not think anything would come of concealing assets.

Image: Some rights reserved by Damian Gadal


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