Benicia Man Pleads Guilty to Bankruptcy Fraud
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Steven Brian Homan, 62, of Benicia, pleaded guilty today to concealment of bankruptcy assets, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, Homan sought protection from, and discharge of, more than $1.3 million in personal and business debt. In order to protect a non-exempt cabin in Redding from liquidation to pay his creditors, Homan arranged to sell it to a relative for $100,000. However, Homan concealed from the bankruptcy trustee that the cabin had been destroyed by fire before he offered the sale to the trustee and before the trustee accepted the offer.
After the fire, Homan filed an insurance claim that settled for more than $258,000 in losses associated with the cabin and personal property contained in the cabin at the time of the fire. That money constituted property of the bankruptcy estate, which Homan concealed from the trustee. After the sale was complete, the bankruptcy trustee learned of the fire and the insurance settlement.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney André M. Espinosa is prosecuting the case.
Homan is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on March 11, 2019. Homan faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.