Rockford, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A Rockford man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to bankruptcy fraud. The defendant, Shane Mathew Berry, 39, admitted to making a false statement in documents he signed under penalty of perjury in his 2007 bankruptcy petition filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Rockford.
In a written plea agreement, Berry admitted he filed a Chapter 7 bankrutcy petition in December 2007, including schedules of assets and liabilities, and statement of financial affairs. The statement of financial affairs required Berry to list all of transfers of property within the two years prior to filing his bankruptcy petition. In the plea agreement, Berry admitted that he had transferred his residence on Bayfield Road, in Rockton, Illinois during that time period, and had intentionally omitted the transfer on his bankruptcy petition. Berry admitted he signed his statement of financial affairs under penalty of perjury, knowing his answer was false. At the time the property was transferred, Berry had equity interest of approximately $23,000 in the residence. The charge in this case carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and mandatory restitution. The actual sentence will be determined by the United States District Court, guided by the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines. Sentencing has been set for February 27, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.
The charge was announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.