Virginia Woman Pleads Guilty to Bankruptcy Fraud
Conviction Is Fourth In Past 18 Months For Local Task Force
LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA -- A Burkeville, Virginia woman pleaded guilty this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg to charges related to bankruptcy fraud following an investigation by the Bankruptcy Fraud Task Force for the Western District of Virginia.
Sally Marie Jones, 55, of Burkeville, Virginia, waived her right to be indicted and pleaded guilty this morning to one count of bankruptcy fraud. At sentencing, the maximum possible penalty faced by Jones is up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.
“Those who seek relief from bankruptcy must be honest in their dealings with the court,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “When people like Ms. Jones provide the court with inaccurate information, they are cheating the system and will be held accountable. Bankruptcy fraud is a serious crime with serious consequences, and those who engage in this activity will be brought to justice.”
According to evidence presented by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Bubar, Jones filed for bankruptcy in the Eastern District of Virginia twice between June 18, 2008 and June 8, 2009. Both times she filed, the defendant listed a different social security number and address. On July 23, 2009, the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia banned Jones from filing bankruptcy for two years in any United States Bankruptcy Court.
Despite the two-year ban, Jones filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the Lynchburg Division of the Western District of Virginia using a false social security number and the address of 3470 Candlers Mountain Road, Lynchburg. No such address exists.
According to evidence, when a creditor made a motion to dismiss her bankruptcy claim, Jones admitted that the only reason she filed bankruptcy was to enjoy the protection of the automatic stay to avoid foreclosures.
This case was investigated by the Bankruptcy Fraud Task Force for the Western District of Virginia, which consists of agents from the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Trustee’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Bubar.