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Couple caught in bankruptcy scheme after overlooking small detail

In the dawning days of the Internet age, there were only a few fonts to choose from. Times New Roman, of course, was the standard font that everyone using the early versions of Microsoft Word relied upon. 

The options were few, but the technology was new and exciting. Unfortunately, these limited font options left one married couple facing a charge of fraud under their country's bankruptcy laws.

What happened when couple tried to commit bankruptcy fraud? 

It is tempting to try to skirt around the processes when you are filing for bankruptcy, but the end result is usually so much worse than if you had approached it properly the first time around. 

According to Naked Security by Sophos, the couple filed for bankruptcy in 2017. However, the story really began in 1994, when they married and became a blended family. Both the wife and the husband brought children from previous relationships into the new marriage, and shortly after, they purchased two properties together. One was a cottage, the other a farm.

As the years went on, the parents enjoyed career growth and their personal wealth escalated. Unfortunately, the husband was the CEO of a communications company that faced financial trouble in the early 2000s. The CEO worked to negotiate a deal to help get the company back on a sound financial footing and was ultimately rewarded with a $5.6 million payout.

A few years later, he was sued by his colleagues because they claimed that he was paid based on an invalid share price. His colleagues won their lawsuit, which forced the CEO to settle and ultimately file for bankruptcy.

Now, exactly where does the font issue come in? 

To avoid giving up their farm and cottage properties, the couple fraudulently claimed that the properties were being held in trust for their children. They produced forms in order to prove it, but they didn't do enough research before creating fraudulent documents. 

Without thinking, they provided documents that were typed in the classic and elegant Cambria font — a favorite of many. They used the Cambria font on a document dated 1995 — nearly 12 years before the Cambria font was ever available on Microsoft Word. 

Their seemingly minor mistake was costly, and ultimately led to a bankruptcy fraud charge against them, and their case ended up in front of the Canadian Supreme Court, where the justices ruled against them. 

Facing bankruptcy? Don't go it alone

While you likely won't find yourself facing criminal charges because you created a fraudulent document in a font that didn't exist at the time, you may make a few mistakes along the way if you try to navigate the bankruptcy process on your own. If you are faced with a situation in which you have to file bankruptcy, make sure you contact an experienced lawyer who can help you get through the process in a way that is most beneficial to you.

For more information on how our firm can help you move forward from this challenging time, contact us today to set up a consultation appointment with one of our experienced attorneys.

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