But once the wheels of fraud are in motion, it’s awfully hard to stop them.
One of the techniques used by debtors trying to save their skin after red flags of fraud have been uncovered by the bankruptcy trustee is an attempt to dismiss the bankruptcy case. This move makes little difference in a case of suspected fraud. The bankruptcy is likely going to be denied anyway, so asking to have the bankruptcy dismissed does not get the debtor ahead. And a debtor can’t just automatically get a bankruptcy dismissed. The judge decides whether the bankruptcy can be dismissed.Continue reading
The bankruptcy trustee has asked the court for a denial of discharge of the McKinneys’ debts, based on false disclosures, lack of disclosure, manipulation of income, and destruction of records. In particular, Jennifer McKinney is accused of falsely claiming her blogging income is $1,500 per month, while she was depositing at least $7,000 to $10,000 per month to her bank account. She reported to the bankruptcy court that her income for 2011 was $55,000, while the records for that year show more than $148,000 of income. In addition, certain assets including cash, accounts receivable, personal property, and (very valuable) domain names and websites were not disclosed in the bankruptcy filing.Continue reading
What is fraud?A false representation of a matter of fact—whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of what should have been disclosed—that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury.
Once upon a time, there was a popular mommy blogger named Jennifer McKinney. She called herself MckMama, and had a blog called My Charming Kids. She was not noteworthy in any way – – until her fourth pregnancy took a turn for the worse. Her unborn son Stellan was determined to have a heart condition, and with pleas for prayer, Jennifer’s popularity skyrocketed.
The My Charming Kids blog (with McKinney’s “MSC” or “Many Small Children” as the focus) became so popular that at its height, Jennifer was grossing at least $150,000 to $175,000 per year from advertising and money-making gimmicks.
Not content to post pictures of her kids and stories about everyday life, Jennifer McKinney was determined to live the high life, and pimp out herself, her family, and her blog to maximize her earnings. She appeared to have it all: great kids, a happy marriage, a beautiful house, a luxury vehicle, media opportunities, trips, and much more.Continue reading
Gina Wooten, a paralegal in Georgia has been indicted on federal charges of bank fraud and theft of government funds. She is accused of forging signatures on federal bankruptcy checks, as well as stealing offical checks from the bankruptcy trustee.
Wooten worked for attorney Edward Smith when she allegedly committed the fraud, from July 2004 through August 2006. It is alleged that she forged signatures on checks from the federal bankruptcy trustee, and then deposited them into a bank account she shared with her son.
The theft totals more than $110,000, and if convicted, Wooten could face up to 30 years in federal prison just on the bank fraud charges.