bankruptcy trustee

Former lawyer gets more than 3 years in prison in bankruptcy fraud scheme tied to collapse of Bridgeport bank

A former Chicago attorney was sentenced Tuesday to more than three years in prison for helping her brother hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets in bankruptcy proceedings tied to the collapse of a Bridgeport neighborhood bank.

Jan Kowalski, 59, pleaded guilty last year to concealing assets from a bankruptcy trustee, admitting she falsified documents and lied during testimony in bankruptcy proceedings for her brother, Robert, costing creditors about $357,000.

In sentencing Kowalski to 37 months behind bars, U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall called her conduct “extremely serious,” particularly for an attorney who had taken an oath to uphold the law.

“It is the complete antithesis of what an attorney is supposed to be doing,” Kendall said. “People lose faith, and it really is the beginning of the destruction of our judicial process and the destruction of our democracy.”

Kowalski’s attorney, William Stanton, had asked for probation, saying she suffers from a lengthy list of physical and mental ailments, is the sole caretaker for her elderly mother, and has a son who has had his own difficulties.

Before she was sentenced, Kowalski, dressed in a hooded sweatshirt, stood at the lectern and lamented her situation but did not apologize

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Alex Jones using bankruptcy to avoid payouts, Sandy Hook families allege

Sandy Hook families have asked a federal judge to remove InfoWars founder Alex Jones from control of his main company, alleging that Jones has siphoned off millions of dollars and is abusing the bankruptcy system to avoid paying court judgments for portraying the 2012 school shooting as a hoax.

Jones placed Free Speech Systems into bankruptcy in late July while he was in the middle of an Austin trial that ended with jurors awarding almost $50 million to the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, one of 20 children and six educators killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Sued by other Sandy Hook families, Jones and Free Speech Systems are facing a similar trial this month in Connecticut and another trial later this year in Austin.

With potentially large jury awards looming, bankruptcy proceedings for Free Speech Systems — which reported $9.4 million in profits on $14.3 million in income in the first five months of this year — could determine how much money the Sandy Hook families receive, as well as the continued viability of Jones’ Austin-based InfoWars media system.

Lawyers for the Sandy Hook parents recently told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez that they don’t trust

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