SOUTH BEND – Ronya Phillips, age 47, of Goshen, Indiana, entered a guilty plea before United States District Court Judge Damon R. Leichty for two counts of subornation of perjury, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Bell.
According to documents in this case, Ms. Phillips was formerly a bankruptcy petition preparer 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, Ms. Phillips admitted that she willfully suborned and procured two individuals to commit perjury by submitting material false declarations in federal bankruptcy proceedings. Both incidents were related to Ms. Phillips inducing the individuals to falsely state in forms related to their bankruptcy petitions that they had paid Ms. Phillips half of the amount that they had actually paid her for her services.
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.
“Together with Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Bell and our law enforcement partners, we will continue to pursue fraud and abuse in bankruptcy cases,” stated Nancy J. Gargula, U.S. Trustee for Region 10. The U.S. Trustee Program is the component of the Justice Department that protects the integrity of the bankruptcy system by overseeing case administration and litigating to enforce the bankruptcy laws. Region 10 is headquartered in Indianapolis, with additional offices in South Bend, Ind., and Peoria, Ill.