Licensed attorney pleads guilty to bankruptcy fraud, agrees to disbarment – Detroit Lakes Tribune
ST. PAUL — A Willmar attorney has pleaded guilty to fraudulent concealment of bankrupt assets, U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger said.
According to court documents, on November 3, 2015, Gregory Ronald Anderson, 63, a licensed attorney, prepared and filed a petition for voluntary bankruptcy on behalf of his client, James Alan Rothers. When filing the petition, Anderson was aware that Rothers’ assets, wherever located, became the property of “bankruptcy assets” to be used to pay Rothers’ creditors. Anderson also filed a set of Rothers Bankruptcy Schedules in which Rothers was required to disclose, under penalty of perjury, the full extent and value of all Rothers assets as of November 3, 2015.
According to court documents, before the petition was filed, Anderson created false liabilities to make it appear that Rothers was insolvent when, in fact, Rothers could easily have paid all of his creditors. Specifically, Anderson arranged for a sham lawsuit to be brought against Rothers and then ordered Rothers to default in that lawsuit. This created a judgment of approximately $608,000 against Rothers to make it appear that he was insolvent. Anderson also created documents showing that an Iowa company had loaned Rothers $240,000 and that Rothers had an obligation to repay that loan. The loan was entirely bogus and created to bolster Rothers’ appearance of insolvency.
As Rothers’ bankruptcy attorney, Anderson had to certify that the petition filed with the bankruptcy court was true and accurate. Nonetheless, when Anderson filed Rothers’ bankruptcy petition on November 3, 2015, he certified that he was unaware that the information in Rothers’ schedules was incorrect. But, despite this certification, Anderson was aware of the efforts described above to make Rothers appear insolvent and that Rothers had deliberately failed to disclose on his bankruptcy schedules $100,000 in gold coins; $686,000 on deposit in bank accounts for two companies; and $455,484 in uncashed checks. In fact, Anderson helped Rothers open one of the hidden bank accounts and received part of his legal fees from the other.
Anderson pleaded guilty Monday to one count of fraudulent concealment of bankruptcy assets in U.S. District Court before Judge Eric C. Tostrud.
Anderson’s plea deal includes a requirement that he be voluntarily disbarred. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.
On November 7, 2019, James Alan Rothers pleaded guilty to one count of fraudulent concealment of bankruptcy assets in United States District Court before Judge Susan Richard Nelson. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.
This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David J. MacLaughlin and Jordan L. Sing are prosecuting the case.