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Press Release

A Bankruptcy Petition Preparer in Goshen, Indiana was Sentenced

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Indiana
For Subornation Of Perjury

SOUTH BEND – Ronya Phillips, age 47, of Goshen, Indiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Damon R. Leichty upon her plea of guilty to two counts of suborning perjury, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson. 

Phillips was sentenced to serve 18 months home detention.

According to documents in this case, Phillips was formerly a bankruptcy petition preparer (a “BPP”) in the Northern District of Indiana.  In that capacity she prepared bankruptcy petitions and other documents for debtors who filed cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

As part of her guilty plea, Phillips admitted that she willfully suborned and procured individuals to commit perjury by submitting materially false declarations in federal bankruptcy proceedings. Certain debtors and clients of Phillips reported that she had induced them to falsely state on their bankruptcy documents that they had paid her half of the amount they had actually paid her for her services. Phillips also persuaded her clients to testify falsely under oath as to how much they had paid her when questioned by the bankruptcy trustee.  Finally, Phillips herself submitted false sworn statements in disclosures which only disclosed half of the amount of money she actually had received from clients.

“The U.S. Attorney’s office will vigorously enforce federal laws that govern the conduct of persons participating in the bankruptcy system and, as this case shows, we will prosecute individuals whose conduct undermines the integrity of the bankruptcy process,” said United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.  

“Abuse of the bankruptcy system by having consumers falsify documents and provide false testimony strikes at the very core of the integrity of the bankruptcy system, undermines public confidence in that system and is a practice against which consumers need to be protected,” stated Nancy J. Gargula, U.S. Trustee for Indiana, Central Illinois, and Southern Illinois.  “I am grateful to U.S. Attorney Clifford Johnson and our law enforcement partners for their strong commitment to combating fraud and abuse in bankruptcy cases.”

The charges resulted from a referral by the U.S. Trustee for Indiana and Central and Southern Illinois (Region 10) to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana. The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service in collaboration with the Northern Indiana Bankruptcy Fraud Working Group coordinated by the U.S. Trustee for Region 10.   This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Luke N. Reilander and Special Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer W. Prokop from the U.S. Trustee’s Office.


Updated December 9, 2021