Bridgeport Man Pleads Guilty to Bankruptcy Fraud Offense
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that ANTHONY FAUSTINI, 57, of Bridgeport, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today to making a false statement under oath in a bankruptcy matter.
Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the court proceeding before U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall occurred via videoconference.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on March 12, 2018, Faustini filed a personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut. In the petition, Faustini noted that his unpaid debts were approximately $86,862. However, Faustini failed to disclose to the court that he knew that he was the beneficiary of a $100,000 life insurance policy held against the life of his mother. Nine days later, on March 21, 2018, Faustini’s mother passed away.
On April 18, 2018, Faustini testified under oath regarding his bankruptcy petition. In response to questioning from the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee, Faustini falsely indicated that he had listed all items of value in his petition, and he failed to mention his vested interest in the $100,000 life insurance policy. In response to a specific question as to whether “anybody died and left you any money,” Faustini responded “No.”
On June 20, 2018, the bankruptcy court entered an order granting Faustini a discharge of his debts. The next day, Faustini contacted the life insurance company to determine the status of the claim payment and to confirm that the company had his correct address. On June 26, 2018, the insurance company issued a check for $100,246 to Faustini.
The Office of the U.S. Trustee for the District of Connecticut subsequently received information about the life insurance payment made to Faustini and conducted a “Rule 2004” deposition examination of Faustini on June 5, 2019. During the examination, Faustini made several false statements, including that he had not known about the life insurance policy when he filed his bankruptcy petition, that did not find out about the policy until he received the check, and that he did not know how the insurance company knew to send the check to his address.
Judge Hall scheduled sentencing for February 25, 2021, at which time Faustini faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. Faustini also has agreed to pay restitution of $64,955, which accounts for funds collected from Faustini after the fraud was identified.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser.