Former Attorney Indicted On Bankruptcy Fraud Charges
Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Josiah Hutton (60, Winter Haven) with concealment of assets and embezzlement from a bankruptcy estate. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison on each count.
According to the indictment, Hutton was retained to represent a debtor who was planning to file for bankruptcy. In anticipation of filing a bankruptcy petition, Hutton received a settlement check, which was the property of the debtor’s bankruptcy estate, that he deposited into his attorney escrow account. Hutton prepared and certified the debtor’s bankruptcy petition but failed to list the settlement check as an asset, thereby concealing it from creditors and the bankruptcy court. Subsequent to the filing of the debtor’s petition, Hutton embezzled a large portion of the settlement check for his own personal use.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has violated one or more federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, with assistance from the Office of the United States Trustee for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division. It will be prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor.