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Press Release

Arizona Real Estate Developer Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison for Falsifying Bankruptcy Record

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

An Arizona real estate developer was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for submitting false statements in his bankruptcy petition with the intent to conceal assets and property transfers from the bankruptcy trustee.  

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo of the District of Arizona and Acting Inspector in Charge Daniel A. Adame of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s (USPIS) Criminal Investigations Group made the announcement.

Alexander Papakyriakou, aka Alex Papas, 62, of Phoenix, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Susan R. Bolton of the District of Arizona, who will impose restitution at a hearing on Oct. 21, 2016.  Papakyriakou pleaded guilty on Feb. 9, 2016, to one count of falsification of records in bankruptcy. 

According to admissions made in connection with his plea agreement, in 2011, Papakyriakou filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition in which he claimed he had less than $1 million in assets and over $144 million in liabilities.  In connection with his bankruptcy petition, Papakyriakou filed a statement of financial affairs (SFA), a declaration under penalty of perjury, about his assets and property transfers, which he admitted that he knew contained false entries and concealed his assets and transfers. 

As part of his guilty plea, Papakyriakou admitted that at the time of the filing of the SFA, he had transferred all of his significant holdings into the names of other entities while still maintaining control of those entities by proxies.  According to the plea agreement, these assets included an approximately $4.995 million beach house in Laguna Beach, California; a warehouse; several vintage collector automobiles; and funds from bank accounts.  Papakyriakou further admitted that he filed the falsified SFA with intent to impede, obstruct or influence an investigation or the proper administration of his bankruptcy case. 

The USPIS Criminal Investigations Group investigated the case.  Trial Attorney Sarah Hall and Senior Litigation Counsel David Bybee of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section prosecuted the case.  Former Fraud Section Senior Litigation Counsel Jack Patrick provided substantial assistance.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Raymond Woo of the District of Arizona also provided assistance in this matter. 

Updated August 29, 2016

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 16-983