pleaded guilty

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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Former Willmar attorney sentenced for bankruptcy fraud

ST. PAUL, Minn – Gregory Anderson, a former attorney from Willmar, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for helping a client appear unable to repay his creditors, says United States Attorney Andrew Luger. 

According to Luger’s announcement, Anderson filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition on behalf of his client, James Rothers, on Nov. 3, 2015. Anderson created fake liabilities to make it seem like Rothers was insolvent, when, in fact, he could’ve repaid his creditors with ease.

Rothers had over $1 million dollars in assets including gold coins, separate bank accounts, and uncashed checks. Rothers even paid part of Anderson’s legal fees using a concealed bank account that Anderson helped set up.

An investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed that Anderson knew about Rothers’ assets, and conspired to make him appear unable to repay his debt.

Anderson pleaded guilty to one count of fraudulent concealment of bankruptcy assets early August. He was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release. Anderson will also be required to pay a $20,000 fine.

Rothers pleaded guilty to one count of fraudulent concealment of bankruptcy assets in November of 2019, and will be sentenced

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