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Spousal Identity Theft Enable Bankruptcy Filing

In Indiana, a woman stole her husband’s identity while they were still married and looted his 401(k) retirement fund.

Patricia Bippus-Allen was sentenced to five years in federal prison this summer after pleading guilty to subordination of perjury, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

She devised an elaborate scheme with the help of her brother, who impersonated her husband, and made multiple unauthorized withdrawals from her husband’s 401(k) account.

In 2010, Bippus-Allen filed joint Chapter 13 bankruptcy without her husband’s knowledge.  During the course of the bankruptcy proceedings, she created documents with forged signatures from her husband and had her brother impersonate her husband at a hearing.

As a result of the bankruptcy plan, almost $74,000 was deducted from Bippus-Allen’s husband’s direct deposit paychecks without his knowledge or consent, and she gained access to those funds.  She also took out more than $24,000 from her husband’s 401(k) and took out more than $16,000 in loans on the retirement account.