Serial Bankruptcy Filer Convicted Of Lying During Bankruptcy Proceedings
SHREVEPORT, La. –United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that a federal jury found Shelley R. Callahan, 49, of Clinton, Mo., guilty of making a false statement during a bankruptcy proceeding. United States District Judge Donald Walter presided over the three-day trial.
Callahan’s trial began Monday and was postponed Tuesday and Wednesday because of weather. The trial ended today with the jury returning the guilty verdict after deliberating for approximately 30 minutes. Witness testimony and exhibits admitted into evidence established that Callahan filed for bankruptcy protection on August 26, 2010, her eighth bankruptcy filing in nine years. Callahan falsely stated that she had not made any gifts or payments to family members prior to filing for bankruptcy protection. In truth, Callahan received more than $55,000 for a personal injury claim eight months before her latest bankruptcy filing. Instead of paying her creditors, she provided gifts during the Christmas season and gambling trips to casinos to her family.
Callahan faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine for one count of making a false statement during a bankruptcy proceeding. The sentencing date is May 22, 2014.
The U.S. Trustee’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cytheria Jernigan is prosecuting the case.