Service & Results.

nyc criminal lawyers over 30 years of experienceWe Know How To Win Cases

Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.

Get Free Consultation

Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

Why Choose Us

Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.

We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.

Law in the Media

View All

Meet Todd Spodek


The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

Bankruptcy Fraud Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | January 22, 2023
(Last Updated On: August 2, 2023)

Last Updated on: 2nd August 2023, 11:34 pm

Understanding Bankruptcy Fraud and Why You Need A Lawyer

Bankruptcy fraud is a federal crime. Many people turn to bankruptcy to relieve them of unpaid debts. The common civilian can file either a chapter 7, which is a total liquidation, or they can file a chapter 13. A chapter 13 will allow them to retain their property and work out a payment plan with the court’s supervision. The laws regarding bankruptcy have changed over the past decade. No matter how many mandates that the court puts on the process, there are always those people who try to sidestep the law to get out of debt.

Fraudulent Reporting of Assets

The court recognizes three types of bankruptcy fraud. They are concealing assets, filing multiple times, and petition mills. The first is self-explanatory. The most common type of fraud found in the bankruptcy court is not disclosing all income and or assets. Some people feel that if they leave off an asset they will be able to retain its possession. However, this category can also include things like transferring ownership of an asset to a friend or family member. To keep from losing an item, transferring it to another person is the oldest trick in the book. However, the court wants to know about any transfers within a specific period before the bankruptcy is filed. All it takes is one look into asset transfers to find the transaction.

Another commonly used scheme is to transfer money into offshore accounts to protect it from the United States Bankruptcy Courts. Since it is in the jurisdiction of another country, the US doesn’t have any control over it. Beware, this is a fraudulent way to handle money and keep it hidden from the courts. It is easy to see when large amounts of money disappear from a bank account that cannot be accounted for. The court is aware of such schemes. The trustee will often check and double check accounts to ensure they have been truthful with all disclosures.

Multiple Filings

Another commonly used trick is to file multiple petitions in various states. The goal is to avoid liquidation of assets, but submitting an incomplete list of assets in both state filings is also fraudulent. A person may only have one active bankruptcy petition at a time. Since a party can only file a chapter 7 once every eight years, and chapter 13 every five years, these rules extend across state borders. The act of filing two simultaneous petitions is fraud alone, not to mention selectively putting different information on the petitions. The bankruptcy court is a federal court and not a state matter. Though individual states handle things differently, in general, all proceedings are protected at a federal level.

Some people will also use different names to file the various petitions. This is specifically true of a woman who has been married and has a maiden name. She may try to file under the maiden name in one area and the married name in another. This sort of falsification is not tolerated within the court and is fraud.

Petition Mill Fraud

The other two types of fraud are done by the petitioner with intent to scam the courts. A petition mill is a very different type of fraud. This type of bankruptcy petition is done by a third party. It often happens in poor communities or for those who are facing the eviction process. It starts with an ad being placed to help those who are in the process of being evicted. A firm will take all the debtor’s information. They charge significant fees to fight the eviction on their behalf. What they do is file for bankruptcy and ruin the person’s credit. They take what precious money a person has left.

Understanding Bankruptcy and Fraud

Under the new laws, a means test must be taken. This test will determine disposable income. If a person has disposable income greater than $183.50 left over each month, they do not qualify for a chapter 7. They must file a debt reorganization plan under a chapter 13. Most people want a chapter 7 because it liquidates and forgives all debts. The repayment plan, under a chapter 13, lasts anywhere from three to five years. Regardless of which chapter is filed, bankruptcy stays on one’s credit for up to 10 years. Committing a federal crime, like bankruptcy fraud, can carry a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Additionally, restitution must be made to the court for any amounts fraudulently listed.

If you find yourself facing a fraud case of this type, you need a bankruptcy fraud attorney by your side. A simple oversight on your part may end up costing you big time. As NYC attorneys that specialize in this area of law, we want to help you settle this matter. When dealing with the federal courts, it’s no small matter. You need protection.

The Importance of Proper Reporting

When you file for bankruptcy, you are expected to make a list of all of the assets and property that you own. If you do not submit this information, then you could be charged with bankruptcy fraud. Bankruptcy fraud is taken seriously.

When you file for bankruptcy, it frees you from the burden of having to pay debts. However, it is costly to your debtors. Bankruptcy law allows your creditors to recoup losses by collecting property. You can keep the assets that you need to maintain a household or job.

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then the bankruptcy trustee can sell your property and distribute the funds among your creditors. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not work like this. You will set up a payment plan for the next three to five years. The total payment will be equal to the value of your non-exempt property.

Ways People Conceal Property When Filing for Bankruptcy

Most people are honest when they file for bankruptcy. They list all of the property and assets that they own. Here is a list of actions that can be considered fraudulent activities.

  • Not putting down all of your assets
  • Providing false documents to the court or bankruptcy trustee
  • Withholding or destroying documents
  • Paying someone to hide the property
  • Hiding a property transfer

Bankruptcy Fraud Lawyers

How People Commit Fraud Before They File for Bankruptcy

Many people commit fraud before the bankruptcy proceedings begin. Here is a list of ways people commit fraud before they file for bankruptcy.

Writing a bad check
Misrepresenting income or assets in order to obtain credit
Getting credit with no intention on paying it back
Buying a luxury item before filing for bankruptcy
Engaging in a deceptive business practice


Defense Strategies for Bankruptcy Fraud

As you mentioned, individuals accused of bankruptcy fraud can potentially make use of several defense strategies, which need to be tailored to the specifics of their case. The following defenses can be applied depending on the circumstances:

Mistake or Error

This defense may argue that the defendant was not intentionally deceptive when they hid assets or failed to report them. In some cases, they may be able to argue that their lawyer was unaware of the omitted information, or that they made a genuine mistake on their bankruptcy forms.

Legitimate Purpose

The accused may argue that there was a legitimate purpose behind concealing their assets. As you mentioned, they could possibly be trying to capitalize on tax benefits or other legitimate reasons.

Statute of Limitations

In some cases, the government may lose the right to prosecute if too much time has passed since the alleged fraud took place. The Statute of Limitations for bankruptcy fraud is generally five years.

Renunciation or Withdrawal

If the defendant corrected their paperwork upon discovering their mistake, this could serve as a defense against charges of fraud.

Legal advice is paramount when faced with allegations of bankruptcy fraud due to the potential penalties. It can include up to 20 years in federal prison, restitution payments, and community service. A knowledgeable Bankruptcy Fraud Lawyer can advise about the rights of the accused and guide them on the best defense strategies.

Difference Between Bankruptcy Fraud Lawyers and Bankruptcy Lawyers

As you aptly described, while both a bankruptcy lawyer and a bankruptcy fraud lawyer deal with bankruptcy issues, their roles are different. A bankruptcy lawyer helps individuals navigate the bankruptcy filing process, while a bankruptcy fraud lawyer defends individuals who have been accused of bankruptcy fraud.

Investigations into Bankruptcy Fraud

When an investigation into potential bankruptcy fraud is launched, the accused often becomes aware of it, as it usually involves court proceedings. Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can investigate allegations of bankruptcy fraud.

It is crucial for the accused to consult with a lawyer before interacting with law enforcement agencies to avoid any unintentional self-incrimination.

Bankruptcy Fraud as a Federal Offense

Bankruptcy fraud is indeed a federal offense, with 18 USC 152 being one of the most common charges. The crime involves a scheme to defraud the courts through false bankruptcy petitions.

Concealment of Assets

Fraudulent concealment occurs when someone falsely claims that they don’t have the funds to cover their debts during a bankruptcy filing. Those who aid or abet such an individual can also be charged.


The maximum sentence for bankruptcy fraud, when not combined with other crimes like mail or wire fraud, is five years. However, if other crimes are involved, the penalty can escalate up to 20 years.

Civil Lawsuits

Bankruptcy fraud charges can also lead to civil lawsuits from creditors, which can result in further penalties.

Corporate Bankruptcy Fraud

Corporations, too, can be charged with bankruptcy fraud based on the actions of their representatives. Lack of knowledge about fraudulent activities of an employee does not provide a defense in court.

Regardless of the nature of the charge, anyone facing allegations of bankruptcy fraud should promptly consult with a skilled attorney who can provide a robust defense against these charges.

Free Consultation


I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We Provide Superior Service, Excellent Results, At A Level Superior To Other Criminal Defense Law Firms. Regardless Of Where Your Case Is, Nationwide, We Can Help You.
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.


85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004


get directions

Los Angeles

611 S Catalina St Suite 222, Los Angeles, CA 90005


get directions


35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106


get directions


195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201


get directions
Call Now!