News and Press Releases

Bergen county, n.J. man sentenced to 12 months for bankruptcy fraud and social security fraud



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2011


 

TRENTON, N.J. – A Bergen County, N.J., man who admitted to testifying falsely under oath to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey and to misusing a Social Security number that was not assigned to him was sentenced today to 12 months in federal prison, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Charles Borhan, 54, of Maywood, N.J., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan to an Indictment charging him with perjury in a bankruptcy proceeding and fraudulently misusing a Social Security number.

According to documents filed in this case and statements in court:

On May 17, 1999, Borhan received a bankruptcy discharge of his debts, approximately $38,000, under his true name and Social Security number. Sometime after his bankruptcy case was closed, Borhan began using the alias “Abdul Welch” and a Social Security number ending in 2343, which was not assigned to him by the Commissioner of Social Security, to open numerous credit card accounts and to conduct other financial transactions. In May 2000, Borhan applied for and obtained a residential mortgage loan for $192,000 to finance the purchase of a house located in Maywood. On the loan application, Borhan falsely represented that his name was Abdul Welch and that his Social Security number ended in 2343. Borhan later defaulted on the mortgage payments and foreclosure proceedings were commenced by the mortgage lender. Borhan also failed to pay his credit card debts.

In July 2005, Borhan filed a petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, using the alias Abdul Welch and the Social Security number ending in 2343. By filing this petition, Borhan sought to stay the foreclosure proceedings that had been instituted on the house he had purchased in Maywood, and he also sought to discharge approximately $83,000 worth of credit card debt he had incurred using the fraudulent Social Security number.

In connection with his bankruptcy petition, Borhan appeared at a hearing in August 2005 in which he answered questions under oath about matters related to his petition and his finances. Borhan falsely testified that the information in his bankruptcy petition was true and accurate, when he knew he had filed under a false name and Social Security number. At the start of the hearing, Borhan provided to the bankruptcy trustee who was conducting the hearing a false New Jersey driver’s license, which displayed Borhan’s photograph with the name Abdul Welch. Finally, Borhan also falsely represented to the trustee that the fraudulent Social Security number was his, when, in fact, such number had not been assigned to him.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Borhan to three years supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Ryan, and Region 3 U.S. Trustee Roberta DeAngelis and the Newark office of the U.S. Trustee, with the investigation that resulted in today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Mendelsohn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

11-416                                                                                        

Defense counsel: Lisa Van Hoeck Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton

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