Jackson, Miss - William D. “Butch” Dickson, 58, of Jackson, was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 8, 2014 on six counts of bankruptcy fraud, six counts of bank fraud and five counts of wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen.
According to the indictment, Dickson’s company, Community Home Financial Services (CHFS), is in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the Southern District of Mississippi Bankruptcy Court. Dickson is alleged to have illegally transferred $9,095,000 out of various bankruptcy escrow accounts to an account he controlled at Banco Panemeno, in Panama City, Panama. The indictment alleges that Dickson relocated his businesses to Panama and Costa Rica, and began instructing CHFS customers to submit their monthly mortgage payments to addresses in Las Vegas, Nevada and Miami, Florida for the purpose of having those payments re-shipped to Costa Rica, in order to prevent the Bankruptcy Court from acquiring CHFS income.
As part of the Bankruptcy Proceeding, the indictment alleges that all of CHFS assets, both the $9,095,000 transferred to Panama as well as the incoming mortgage payments from CHFS customers, were under the control of the Bankruptcy Court and were to be retained for the benefit of CHFS creditors. Dickson was detained in Panama by Panamanian Immigration officers and was expelled to the United States on March 12, 2014. Dickson was arrested on a criminal complaint and appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Miami, Florida on March 19, 2014 where he was ordered to be detained by the U.S. Marshal without bond and returned to the Southern District of Mississippi. His next court date in Jackson, Mississippi has not been set.
If convicted, Dickson faces maximum penalties of five years in prison on each count of bankruptcy fraud, thirty years on each count of bank fraud, and twenty years on each count of wire fraud. He also faces maximum fines of $250,000 on each count.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen stated: “Bankruptcy protection is a privilege afforded to individuals who have suffered financial setbacks, appropriately allowing them to get a fresh start. It is not a means for debtors to fraudulently conceal their assets from legitimate creditors. When this privilege is abused, it threatens the integrity of the bankruptcy process. The FBI is committed to combating bankruptcy fraud and abuse, thereby ensuring the public’s continued trust in the bankruptcy process.”
The public is reminded that an indictment is a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.