Let this be a cautionary tale for our New York readers: if you are attempting to avoid paying child support by hiding assets and fraudulently filing for bankruptcy, it is probably not the best idea to voluntarily get the FBI involved in your case. If you do, you will likely have to pay not only the child support that you owe, but much more in the form of restitution, fines and even jail time.
That is what happened to a businessman and father of two after he and his wife filed for divorce. Before the divorce was finalized, the man filed for bankruptcy, and his supposed lack of assets resulted in a reduced child support order.
But as was later learned, the man was not bankrupt, but was actually a millionaire. In order to appear destitute, he engaged in money laundering, establishing a trust through which he put money into real estate and shell companies. He also placed money into accounts under other people’s names. And the scheme worked until, in what is perhaps the most ironic part of this outrageous story, the man called the FBI and asked the agency to investigate his ex-wife, alleging that she was illegally attempting to gain access to his health insurance information.
While investigating the ex-wife, the FBI uncovered the man’s fraud. He was arrested, and was ultimately convicted of 15 counts of bankruptcy fraud and money laundering. He will now serve more than 15 years in prison. He was also ordered to forfeit nearly $3 million in assets and pay a $500,000 fine.
And the kicker? He has to repay all of the child support that he owes to his sons
Source: Time, “Man Who Avoided Child Support By Faking Bankruptcy Gets 17 Years,” Belinda Luscombe, March 6, 2014