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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Former Pike County Man Pleads Guilty To False Bankruptcy Declarations

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a former Pike County resident has pleaded guilty to making false declarations and false oaths in bankruptcy proceedings.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Daniel Wise, age 55, formerly of Tafton, Pennsylvania, currently residing in New York, NY, was indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2015 for concealing bankruptcy assets, false bankruptcy declarations, and false bankruptcy oaths.        

Wise filed three bankruptcy petitions in the Middle District of Pennsylvania between August 14 and November 21, 2012.  The October 14, 2015 Indictment alleged that Wise intentionally failed to reveal his ownership of a $2.4 million promissory note and that he was actively engaged in litigation over the note in New York, on disclosures that he was required to make in his bankruptcy petitions.  

In a proceeding before U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley in Scranton, Wise pleaded guilty today to making false bankruptcy declarations in connection with the bankruptcy petition Wise filed on November 21, 2012, and making false sworn declarations during a January 14, 2013, creditors’ meeting, pursuant to a plea agreement with the government.  

At the time of Wise’s first bankruptcy filing, foreclosure proceedings had been initiated against Wise’s Tafton residence in the Pike County Court of Common Pleas.  Wise’s bankruptcy filings resulted in automatic stays of all debt collection proceedings, including the mortgage foreclosure action.  Wise’s bankruptcy petitions were eventually dismissed on March 13, 2013.

Wise could be sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and a $100,000 fine on each count. No date has been set for sentencing pending preparation of a pre-sentence report

The case was investigated by the Scranton Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kim Douglas Daniel.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

 

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Topic: 
Financial Fraud
Updated July 13, 2016