BOSTON – A Haverhill man was convicted today in U.S. District Court in Worcester of bankruptcy fraud for concealing assets from his bankruptcy creditors; specifically, property he owned in Puerto Rico.
Peter A. Schutter, 57, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Hillman to bankruptcy fraud involving the concealment of assets.
In 1994, Schutter’s mother deeded a parcel of property in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico to Schutter and his wife. The Schutters filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in Worcester in April 2009, but failed to list the Puerto Rico property as an asset. In May 2009, at a meeting of creditors, Schutter was specifically asked by his bankruptcy trustee whether he had owned any real estate in the prior four years and Schutter answered, under oath, “no, sir.” Schutter later disclosed the property to the trustee, but only after the trustee requested records from Schutter that would have led inevitably to the discovery of that property. The trustee later sold it for $115,000 for the benefit of creditors.
Judge Hillman scheduled sentencing for Dec. 18, 2013. The statutory maximum penalty for the bankruptcy fraud charge is five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Vincent Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case was referred for investigation by the U.S. Trustee’s Office in Worcester. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Balthazard of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.