Jackson Man Charged in Bankruptcy Fraud Scheme
Jackson, Miss. – A Jackson man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for fraud related to filing in bankruptcy court, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and FBI Special Agent in Charge Michelle Sutphin.
Jon Darrell Seawright, 49, of Jackson, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge F. Keith Ball today for an initial appearance and arraignment on the indictment. The case is currently scheduled to go to trial on June 28, 2021 before United States District Judge Henry T. Wingate in Jackson.
Seawright is charged with one count of Bankruptcy Filing in Furtherance of a Fraud.
According to the indictment, on January 18, 2019, at 3:30 p.m., Seawright signed and emailed to an insurance agent a completed Insurance Proposal stating that “there are no pending or anticipated bankruptcy, receivership or insolvency proceedings involving” the insured company ALEXANDER SEAWRIGHT TRANSPORTATION LLC, and “there are no known or anticipated circumstances which will impair” ALEXANDER SEAWRIGHT TRANSPORTATION LLC’s “ability to fulfill its obligations under” its insurance contract. In fact, as Seawright well knew, a Petition for Bankruptcy had already been filed on that date, January 18, 2019, at 11:13 a.m.
The indictment further alleges that the fraud consisted of deceiving the insurers and financers into committing to the insurance policies, which, after the bankruptcy court filing, they would be barred by the bankruptcy laws from cancelling or recovering payment from Seawright and his company. The business of ALEXANDER SEAWRIGHT TRANSPORTATION LLC centered on trucking, and ALEXANDER SEAWRIGHT TRANSPORTATION LLC could not stay in business and make money without insurance for its cargos and insurance for its trucks. Without property damage insurance coverage, ALEXANDER SEAWRIGHT TRANSPORTATION LLC would be unable to operate its tractors and trailers in interstate commerce.
A public hearing in the United States Bankruptcy Court in March 2019, resulted in a Bankruptcy Court order releasing the insurers from the contract commitment. The bankruptcy case of ALEXANDER SEAWRIGHT TRANSPORTATION has since then been converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation of the company.
"The federal Bankruptcy Courts exist to safeguard the interests of both creditors and debtors as they make their best efforts to work out equitable settlement plans. To manipulate the protections of bankruptcy law and wield them in the service of fraud in business perverts our system of justice," said Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The criminal case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Theodore Cooperstein.
The public is reminded that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.