Bankruptcy Fraud in the News

Pittsburg Real Estate Agent Charged with Bankruptcy Fraud

The federal bankruptcy laws were enacted to provide individuals with a second chance when circumstances put them on hard times. But the benefits afforded by the bankruptcy laws require honesty and full disclosure by petitioners. The failure to advise the bankruptcy court or trustee of assets, income or resources constitutes fraud, and can land you in a lot of hot water, as is being discovered by a real estate agent from the Pittsburgh area.

Gregory Makozy, the former owner of A1 Mortgage in Cranberry, an upscale suburb of Pittsburgh, was arrested by federal agents in Florida in August, charged with bankruptcy fraud and with making false statements in a federal bankruptcy proceeding. Makozy, who filed for bankruptcy in Florida in 2013, is accused of attempting to shield assets from creditors and the bankruptcy court by transferring them to his wife’s name and then selling them. Prosecutors say that his wife, Maria, is not charged with bankruptcy fraud, but has been arrested on embezzlement charges in a separate incident.

Here are some of the ways federal prosecutors allege that Makozy engaged in bankruptcy fraud:

  • Makozy sold his home in Butler County, Pennsylvania, in 2013, for more than a million dollars, transferred half of the proceeds to a corporate account in Florida, and then failed to report the holdings in the corporate account in his bankruptcy filing
  • Makozy owned an Aston Martin that he retitled in his wife’s name before the bankruptcy filing. After submitting his bankruptcy petition, he sold the car for $54,000.
  • Makozy made a gift of real property to his son, but then sold the property after building a house on it, netting $125,000 that was not reported on the bankruptcy filing

We always counsel clients to avoid this situation. Too often, non-disclosure makes the situation much worse. For example, fraud or non-disclosure can result not just in criminal conviction, but also the loss of property AND the permanent loss of any right to discharge debts.

Contact Our Office

At Neuner & Ventura, LLP, we work hard to alleviate the stress, anxiety and confusion that come with a potential bankruptcy filing. We offer a free initial consultation to every client. We do, however, reserve the right to charge a fee to review any work done by another attorney. For an appointment, call us at 856-596-2828 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request.

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