Tracy Coenen talks about what could happen if a debtor commits fraud during the bankruptcy process. The potential consequences include the denial of discharge of debts, bankruptcy cannot be filed for the same debts again, exempt property taken, or criminal charges.
Last week the internets informed me that the United States is terrible because we “allow children to go hungry.” This is not true by any stretch of the imagination. If parents are willing to take even a minimal amount of responsibility for their children, the children will be fed. Food stamps, free breakfast and lunch at school, food pantries, and cash benefits from government programs are more than enough to feed a family’s children.
I wanted to bring the picture of “poverty” in America into focus with some cold hard facts. What you will see is that “poverty” in America is nothing close to the poverty we see around the world. To illustrate this, I am using a fictitious Milwaukee family of 4 as an example. (In this example, we are assuming there is a mother, a father, and two school age children. If you instead assume a single parent household, the numbers work out slightly better for the family.)
Under guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, this family is “below the poverty line” if the income of the household is less than $24,250.
In what may be a flipping of the bird to Milwaukee taxpayers… Gregory Thornton, outgoing superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools gave out $7.1 million in bonuses. $3.5 million of the loot was given to support and administrative staff in January, and $3.6 million is being given to teachers and psychologists in March. This is considered a bonus for employees, which Thornton said is to thank them for their hard work.
I have ranted at length in the past about MPS, its failure to educate students, its highly compensated teachers, and wide scale waste of resources. Despite sky-high spending per child in MPS, the district still fails to educate the children. In 2013, less than half of 4th graders and 8th graders tested proficient in math and less than half were proficient in reading. Waaaay less than half. (And lest you buy the phony argument that the poor results are simply because these are urban kids, know that other urban school districts do quite well at educating children.)
So yes, the fact that the majority of students in MPS cannot read or do math certainly means that the administration and staff should get bonuses funded by taxpayers! That was sarcasm, in case you missed it.
There is an awesome provision in Obamacare (thoroughly inappropriately named the Affordable Care Act) that will allow anyone who receives a subsidy to scam the system.
Here’s how it works: Pay your subsidized premium for one month, then stop paying. Under the law, you must continue to be covered for three additional months, referred to as the grace period. That’s buy one, get three free!
I’m sure the intent behind this was good. If someone unexpectedly loses a job and can’t pay the health insurance premiums, the family is still covered. However, it’s obvious that this provision will be abused extensively. There is no way to differentiate between those who legitimately cannot pay, and those who choose not to pay.
Yesterday Teresa Giudice and Guiseppi (Joe) Giudice were indicted by a federal grand jury in Newark, New Jersey on the following charges:
- Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud
- Bankruptcy Fraud
- Bankruptcy Fraud – Concealment
- Bankruptcy Fraud – False Oaths
- Bankruptcy Fraud – False Declarations
- Failure to Make Tax Return
The mail fraud and wire fraud counts are related to false statements and documents that the Giudices allegedly submitted in order to get loans. Banks which loaned the Giudices money included Park Avenue Bank, Wachovia (now Wells Fargo), Sterling Bank, and Community Bank of Bergen County. Non-bank lenders include HomeComings Financial Network, Eastern American Mortgage, and Alterna Mortgage.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is somewhat infamous for denying that voter fraud occurs in Milwaukee, telling constituents “give me one name” of a person committing voter fraud. Names have been given over and over and over again.
Now there are ten more people charged with voter fraud in Milwaukee County. Among the fraud allegedly perpetrated are the following acts:
- Felons ineligible to vote casting ballots
- Double voting in the 2012 elections
- Providing false information to an election official
Only in Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) is uncertainty about the future a massive problem that no one can do anything about. (Doesn’t every business face uncertainty about the future? Aren’t they unsure of how many customers they will have? Doesn’t the changing world mean that what they’re selling may have to change?)
Only in MPS does declining enrollment not save the school in any money. That’s right folks. The number of students in Milwaukee Public Schools has been declining for years. More than ten years ago, the student population in MPS hovered near 100,000. But everyone still talks about it like it is yesterday. The district has had more than 10 years to adjust spending according to enrollment. So what’s the big deal?
For the last several months, we have been following the story of Jennifer “MckMama” McKinney and her bankruptcy filing from nearly a year ago. By spring, trustee Gene Doeling had her number, and was preparing to file a motion objecting to the bankruptcy. In not so many words, Mr. Doeling alleged fraud against Jennifer and Israel McKinney, saying things such as manipulated, destroyed, concealed, falsified, false, and intentionally.
In my first story on the MckMama bankruptcy, I detailed the lies and deception of Jennifer Howe Sauls McKinney, both to her blog readers and to the bankruptcy court. Why such a public discussion of this case? There are two reasons. First, bankruptcy itself is a public process. The documents are readily available on Pacer, the federal government’s online warehouse of court documents.
We’ve been discussing here the case of Jennifer McKinney (aka MckMama) and Israel McKinney (dba Kieran’s Contracting) and their alleged fraud perpetrated on the bankruptcy court. Questions have been raised about the likelihood of the McKinneys facing criminal charges, despite a quiet resolution to their original bankruptcy filing (they have waived bankruptcy and can never have those debts discharged in bankruptcy in the future) and the related case filed by trustee Gene Doeling objecting to the discharge of their bankruptcy (resolved with the McKinneys paying $3,500, the value of some of the assets they failed to disclose, and therefore were non-exempt and could be used to pay creditors).
The bankruptcy of Todd Brunner, a Milwaukee area landlord, was thrown out by a judge earlier this year after it was discovered that he did not disclose all his assets. He had $19 million in debts, so not being able to ditch out of them in bankruptcy was probably pretty painful. (The IRS alone says he owes $400,000 to them, but since he hasn’t filed a tax return since 2008, who knows how much higher the real number could be.)
Jennifer McKinney (aka MckMama) and Israel McKinney appear to have settled all claims in their bankruptcy filing in which trustee Gene Doeling alleged fraud, saying:
The Debtors have concealed, destroyed, mutilated, falsified, or failed to keep or preserve any recorded information, including books, documents, records, and papers, from which the debtors’ financial condition or business transactions might be ascertained. The debtors failed to keep adequate books and records from which their financial transactions could be ascertained. The co-debtor was receiving cash payments from photography clients that were not disclosed and for which she has been unable to provide an accounting.