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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Three Family Members Indicted For Bankruptcy Fraud

                                                                                  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          Contact ELIZABETH MORSE

www.justice.gov/usao/md                                                   at (410) 209-4885

 

Baltimore, Maryland – On May 22, 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Patricia Mulford, age 66, and Joseph Mulford, age 67, formerly of Berlin, Maryland; and Maria Denise Gangler a/k/a “Aunt Denise,” age 62, of Essex, Maryland, on charges of conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and tax evasion.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Kelly ‎R. Jackson of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.

According to the four-count indictment, from July 2011 through November 2017, the Mulfords and Gangler committed bankruptcy fraud by knowingly and fraudulently concealing their assets from their creditors and trustees in bankruptcy proceedings.  The assets concealed by the defendants consisted primarily of proceeds from the sale of approximately $375,000 in foreign real estate, namely their interests in a property at Sueno Escondido Estates in Costa Rica.  The defendants converted proceeds from the real estate sale into cash stored in a safe deposit box and bank accounts held in relatives’ names.   The Mulfords also reinvested proceeds in a second property in Costa Rica and failed to disclose their ownership of that property.  The defendants’ bankruptcy fraud caused their creditors to suffer losses of more than $350,000.

The Mulfords are also alleged to have concealed assets from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) so as to avoid an outstanding tax debt.  According to the indictment, beginning in 2009, the Mulfords willfully attempted to evade paying taxes for the calendar year of 2009, and did so by concealing from the IRS gold and silver coins the Mulfords had purchased after liquidating their IRAs.  The Mulfords also concealed from the IRS the proceeds of the sale of real estate in Costa Rica.  The Mulfords’ bankruptcy fraud allowed them to avoid paying approximately $39,000 then due to the IRS in connection with taxes for 2009.

The Mulfords and Gangler face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for the conspiracy, bankruptcy fraud, and tax evasion offenses.  An initial appearance for the defendants has not been scheduled at this time. 

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the IRS for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Harry Gruber and Dana Brusca, who are prosecuting the case.

 

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Updated May 23, 2018