Former Houston CPA Convicted of Bankruptcy Fraud
HOUSTON—Stuart Bruce Zidell, 64, of Spring, has entered a plea of guilty to committing bankruptcy fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Zidell filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on Nov. 22, 2011, seeking discharge from debt under the U.S. bankruptcy code. As part of that process, he completed the necessary schedules of his assets and liabilities and a Statement of Financial Affairs.
As part of his plea today, Zidell has admitted he sent an e-mail to a creditor of his estate in which he offered the creditor a sum of money if they agreed not to contest is Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
In order for the bankruptcy system to work for all parties it is imperative for the debtor to be truthful and forthright in all aspects of the bankruptcy process. The bankruptcy system is based on an honor system; the debtor agrees to provide all of the necessary information requested by the trustee and to assist the trustee in collecting all assets of debtors and comply with the court’s orders to obtain the relief desired under the chapter the case was filed.
U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison, who accepted the plea today, has set sentencing for Feb. 19, 2015, at which time Zidell faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine. He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI with assistance from the United States Trustee’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Quincy L. Ollison is prosecuting the case.