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Press Release

Pulaski County Woman Sentenced for Bankruptcy Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois


Jessica A. Browning, 44, of Ullin, Illinois (Pulaski County), has been sentenced to two years of federal probation for her convictions on two counts of bankruptcy fraud, Steven D. Weinhoeft, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today. Browning was indicted in August 2018 as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s continuing effort to crack down on those who commit fraud in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

At her plea hearing, Browning admitted that during her federal bankruptcy proceedings, she intentionally failed to disclose a $12,765.47 award she had recently received in a workers’ compensation case. Browning also admitted that she testified falsely while under oath at a bankruptcy hearing regarding what she had done with those funds.

"I am grateful to U.S. Attorney Weinhoeft and our law enforcement partners for their strong commitment to combating fraud and abuse in bankruptcy cases as evidenced by yesterday’s proceedings," stated Nancy J. Gargula, U.S. Trustee for Southern and Central Illinois and Indiana (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, Indiana, and Peoria, Illinois.

The charges resulted from a referral by the U.S. Trustee for Region 10 to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. The investigation was conducted by agents from the Fairview Heights, Illinois, Office of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, in collaboration with the Southern Illinois Bankruptcy Fraud Working Group coordinated by the U.S. Trustee. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys William E. Coonan and Scott A. Verseman.

Updated January 31, 2019