Examples of Bankruptcy Fraud Investigations - Fiscal Year 2013
The following examples of bankruptcy fraud investigations are written from public record documents on file in the court records in the judicial district in which the cases were prosecuted.
California Woman Sentenced for Federal Crimes
On February 27, 2013, in Los Angeles, Calif., Irina Topilina was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ordered to vacate her residence, pursuant to a forfeiture agreement. Restitution will be determined at a later date. Topilina pleaded guilty in February 2012 to one count each of tax evasion, bankruptcy fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Beginning in as early as 1999, Topilina obtained property and assets belonging to an elderly woman who was suffering from dementia and used the identity of foreign nationals to conceal her assets. She placed her resident in the name of a foreign national and used this person's identity to obtain loans secured by the residence, pay expenses for the residence, and ultimately file a homeowner's claim for damages to the residence. In October 2005, she and her husband, Eugene Pinchuk, filed a bankruptcy petition, claiming less than $12,000 in assets and $142,000 in liabilities. The petition failed to disclose several assets, including the Topilina's residence, a condominium, annuities and a Volvo that the she had acquired through the use of nominees. Topilina also failed to report approximately $130,000 in funds that the she used for her benefit from the cashed annuities and additional payments of approximately $43,000 she received for notary services and referral fees which were deposited into a nominee account.