Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Wendy W. Berger today sentenced Jason Arise Smith (45, Indialantic) to 20 months in federal prison for bankruptcy fraud. The court also ordered Smith to pay $3,400 in restitution to victim C.S., who was his spouse at the time of the offenses.
Smith had pleaded guilty on January 6, 2020.
According to court records, in September 2016, Smith had a bankruptcy attorney file a fraudulent bankruptcy petition in the name of C.S., in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division. Smith had this petition filed without C.S.’s knowledge or consent, in order to delay foreclosure proceedings on their home and to hide the fact that Smith had not been making payments on their mortgage. To enable the filing of this petition without C.S.’s knowledge, Smith falsely represented to the bankruptcy attorney that C.S. was hospitalized with terminal brain cancer. After this first bankruptcy case was dismissed by the bankruptcy court, Smith forged C.S.’s signature on paperwork and caused a second bankruptcy petition to be filed with the court in his and C.S.’s names, again without C.S.’s knowledge, to further delay foreclosure proceedings.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Chauncey A. Bratt.