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Justice News

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

Monday, August 13, 2018

Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Concealing Assets During His Bankruptcy

MISSOULA - Randall Alan Franz, a 59-year-old resident of Sandpoint, Idaho, was sentenced on Thursday to 8 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $205,084.79 in restitution after pleading guilty to concealing assets in bankruptcy. Chief U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen announced the sentence.

Franz’s mother passed away in 2009. Franz was appointed as personal representative of her estate in October, 2010, a responsibility he held until he was removed in September of 2015. Franz was to split his mother’s estate, ultimately valued at almost $600,000, equally between himself and his two brothers. While one brother received approximately $120,000, Franz made no distribution to his other brother.

In the meantime, Franz filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2010, which was converted to a chapter 7 bankruptcy in January 2013. During his bankruptcy, Franz liquidated assets from his mother’s estate and hid his share of the proceeds from his Chapter 7 Trustee. Though Franz withdrew more than $270,000 of probate estate funds between April and October of 2013, Franz’s bankruptcy trustee received none of it. Based on this deception, the United States Bankruptcy Court revoked Franz’s discharge on November 5, 2015, and Franz was referred for criminal prosecution.

“The bankruptcy system is an important safety net for all Americans.  People like the defendant who misuse it for their own personal gain threaten its integrity and will be prosecuted, ” said Kurt Alme, U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Chad C. Spraker and Keith A. Jones, and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Trustee’s Office.

Updated August 13, 2018