A San Antonio area man was arrested while trying to flee to Mexico this past Friday. He had been financing an extravagant lifestyle with funds stolen from a number of local law firms that he managed. While not a lawyer, this man was in charge of funds that should have been given to clients following case settlements or used to pay for medical care clients had received.
The San Antonio Express-News reports that he was arrested by the FBI on charges that include tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud on over $1.6 million that he allegedly stole from 2009-2014. The proceeds of his thefts were used to purchase expensive homes, luxury cars and a $26,000 quinceañera for his daughter. He also spent close to $30,000 on tickets to Spurs games while he was going through Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings.
The IRS and the FBI were both investigating this man for his thefts, his failure to pay his full tax obligations and his failure to make full disclosures during the bankruptcy process. In his bankruptcy filings, the man failed to disclose ownership of a vehicle, interests in homes and ownership of several horses. He is currently facing up to five years in prison if convicted on the tax evasion or bankruptcy fraud charges.
As in all bankruptcy filings, full disclosure of assets is a critical issue. This man may be going to prison in part for failing to come clean about his assets during the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. We cannot stress enough how important it is that people work with skilled and experienced counsel who can help them make the most of the bankruptcy process while avoiding potential pitfalls.