Truth or Consequences: The Department of Justice in Bankruptcy Court (updated for 2016)

05 Mar Truth or Consequences: The Department of Justice in Bankruptcy Court (updated for 2016)

As our readers may recall, over the years, the members of this network have reported on various celebrity bankruptcy filings and the need for absolute truth in a debtor’s pleadings.

Carmen Dellutri posted about Stephen Baldwin back in 2009.

Kevin Gipson posted about celebrities and bankruptcy.

Dana Wilkinson posted about Gary Busey  and Lenny Dykstra with warnings about bankruptcy fraud.

Karen Oakes article back in 2013 discussed Truth or Consequences and and in 2010 whether the Department of Justice really cared….(yes, they cared very much as Terese Giudice discovered after she omitted signififant assets from her bankruptcy filing).

Which brings me to this year’s “Truth or Consequences” discussion:  the bankruptcy of rapper 50 Cent (real name:   Curtis James Jackson III).    The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted the Department of Justice’s investigation into 50 Cent’s chapter 11 filing.   The investigation started after Mr. Jackson posted pictures on his twitter account with large amounts of cash.   And despite the upcoming hearing, Fortune Magazine reports more twitter posts with photos of money.

In 2006, the Department of Justice announced Operation Truth or Consequences.   That program is in full effect to this day.   Celebrity status is not a protection from financial stress and that status does not protect celebrities from serious consequences.   The United States Trustee’s office has a quick link for reporting fraud.  Do not give them a reason to investigate your case!  Tell the truth.

For those of us who lead much more simple lives, the choices are the same:

1.  Tell the truth and disclose all assets on  your bankruptcy papers and

2.  Tell the truth and disclose all debts on  your bankruptcy papers and

3.  Tell the truth about all your financial transactions/payments/transfers on your bankruptcy papers.

Tell the truth.   Just tell the truth.   The consequences could be time in prison.



photo by Andrew Bardwell via Flickr (


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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.
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