REAL ESTATE BROKER SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR BANKRUPTCY FRAUD
March 9, 2011
ATLANTA, GA - ROBERT NEGRELLI, 65, of Alpharetta, Georgia, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Thomas Thrash to serve 15 months in federal prison on charges relating to bankruptcy fraud.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “Bankruptcy is intended to provide relief to individuals who are overcome by their personal debts. This defendant’s lies during the proceedings, however, thwarted the Bankruptcy Court’s ability to fairly and equitably adjudicate his case. His false statements undermined the integrity of the process and unfortunately resulted in significant losses to his creditors.”
“Bankruptcy fraud can result in serious consequences because it undermines public confidence in the system, taints the reputation of honest citizens seeking protection under the bankruptcy statutes, and has a negative impact on voluntary compliance in our income tax system,” said Internal Revenue Service Special Agent in Charge Reginael D. McDaniel. “As the IRS is often a major creditor in bankruptcy proceedings, the detection and prosecution of bankruptcy fraud continues to be a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation.”
NEGRELLI was sentenced to 15 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. NEGRELLI was convicted of these charges on August 19, 2010, upon his plea of guilty.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: On March 23, 2005, ROBERT NEGRELLI filed a bankruptcy petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia. At the time, NEGRELLI was a licensed real estate broker and owned Negrelli Realty, a real estate company in Alpharetta that specialized in the sale of high-end homes and horse farms in the area.
During his bankruptcy, NEGRELLI made a number of materially false statements that related to the merits of his bankruptcy case. NEGRELLI falsely stated that his income from employment or operation of his business was only $81,000 in the two-year period prior to filing bankruptcy, when he knew this was false. In fact, a review of the defendant’s tax returns for the two prior years showed that, in 2004, he reported to the IRS that he had a gross income of approximately $210,000 and, in 2005, he reported he had income of approximately $350,000. When confronted, he admitted he made significantly more income through the operation of Negrelli Realty.
Similarly, NEGRELLI also falsely represented in the course of the bankruptcy case that he had listed all potential creditors in bankruptcy when he knew there were creditors with unsecured nonpriority claims that he failed to disclose. During the course of the case, NEGRELLI even approached one creditor and asked that the creditor not assert a claim, saying he would pay whatever he owed after the resolution of the bankruptcy case. He threatened that, if the creditor filed a claim in bankruptcy and testified against him, he would not pay him at all. His manipulation of the bankruptcy process caused a number of his debts to be improperly discharged.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service.
Assistant United States Attorney Kurt R. Erskine prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or John Horn, First Assistant United States Attorney, through Yvette Comer, at (404) 581-6335. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.