Swiss Citizen Serves 11 Months For Bankruptcy Perjury
DALLAS — Rudolf Suter, 67, formerly of Dallas, appeared in federal court yesterday before U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey and was sentenced to time served (nearly 11 months in federal custody) for committing perjury in a federal proceeding under oath. The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Based on witness testimony at the sentencing hearing, Judge Godbey ordered Suter to appear on March 9, 2016 for a show cause hearing to determine if Suter should be held in contempt for violation of several court orders in Civil Case No. 3:11-CV-02559-N. Instead of appearing at the show cause hearing, Suter fled to Switzerland. On March 10, 2016, Judge Godbey held Suter in civil contempt of court and also ordered the issuance of a civil contempt arrest warrant.
In August and early September 2016, the United States Marshal Service (USMS) in Dallas had several contacts with Suter while he was in Switzerland. Despite repeated efforts by the USMS encouraging Suter to return to Dallas, fugitive Suter refused to voluntarily surrender.
Based on witness testimony at the sentencing hearing, fugitive Suter traveled to Canada on September 13, 2016 and testified at a civil deposition. In his sworn deposition testimony, Suter testified falsely under oath that he had “made arrangements” with the judge and caused the arrest warrant to be dismissed.
On December 11, 2016, Suter was arrested in New York City based on Judge Godbey’s civil contempt warrant when he attempted to re-enter the United States. On January 6, 2017, a criminal complaint was filed in Dallas. On January 17, 2017, Suter was ordered detained as a flight risk following a contested detention hearing. Suter has remained continuously in custody for nearly 11 months since his arrest.
According to the plea documents, on January 17, 2014, Suter filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. Suter concealed his true financial condition when he filed several bankruptcy related documents. In his plea documents, Suter admitted to making a false statement under penalty of perjury in his filed Statement of Financial Affairs, in which Suter concealed several banks accounts which he recently closed. Some of the concealed bank accounts were closed in December 2013, the month before he filed for bankruptcy. After remaining a fugitive outside the United States for approximately nine months, on December 11, 2016, Suter was arrested as he attempted to re-enter the U.S. at JFK International Airport in New York City.
This case is one of several felony prosecutions of bankruptcy-related crimes generated by the Bankruptcy Fraud Initiative in the Northern District of Texas. Each felony indictment is the result of a bankruptcy criminal referral submitted to the United States Attorney’s Office by the United States Trustee’s Office in Dallas, Texas. As part of that initiative, 23 defendants have been convicted and 2 defendants are pending trial.
The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation was in charge of the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jarvis prosecuted.
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