News and Press Releases

Bel-Air Man Convicted of Bankruptcy Fraud and Assault Sentenced to Nearly Six Years in Federal Prison

October 18, 2011

LOS ANGELES – A Bel-Air man was sentenced this afternoon to 70 months in federal prison for concealing assets in a bankruptcy proceeding and threatening a private investigator with a golf club.

Milton Lee Vandevort, 50, was sentenced by United States District Judge Phillip S. Gutierrez. In addition to the 70-month sentence, Judge Gutierrez ordered Vandevort to pay $12,500 in fines.

Vandevort has been in custody since July 14, 2010, when, after a two-week trial, a federal jury convicted him of seven counts: two counts of concealing assets in a bankruptcy case, making a false oath in a bankruptcy case, making a false declaration in a bankruptcy case, assaulting a process server, and two counts of money laundering. The jury determined that Vandevort, who filed chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2005, concealed his interests in his Bel-Air residence, a nursing registry business called Always There Nursing Care, and various pass-through entities that he created for income generated from his business.

Vandevort also was convicted of assaulting a process server for brandishing a golf club at a private investigator the bankruptcy trustee had hired to serve subpoenas on Vandevort’s wife.  After the assault, Vandevort called 911 and falsely claimed, among other things, that his family was experiencing a home invasion robbery.

The jury also convicted Vandevort of money laundering for using income generated from the nursing registry business to pay his own expenses and using the proceeds of a 2004 refinance of the Bel-Air residence to buy undeveloped land in Wyoming in the name of his mother-in-law.

Vandevort “withdrew the equity in his residence, hid it in an escrow company’s bank account, purchased the Wyoming property with the equity money in his mother-in-law’s name, opened bank accounts in the name of Always There Nursing Care Associated LLC and diverted the revenue from ATNC to these accounts, used straw persons as signatories to the bank accounts and the officers of his business entities, transferred this interest in ATNC to [his wife], and filed his bankruptcy petition in Wyoming,” prosecutors said in summarizing Vandevort’s bankruptcy fraud scheme in a sentencing memo to the court.

The jury that returned the guilty verdicts also determined that Vandevort’s interest in the properties he had concealed should be forfeited to the government.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the U.S. Trustee Program.

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.

Release No. 11-151

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