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HAMMOND-Mary Cossey, age 54, of Munster, Indiana, was indicted for three counts of wire fraud relating to her petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch.

According to the indictment, Cossey defrauded the bankruptcy trustee and her creditors by providing false information in her bankruptcy petition, and concealed prohibited post-petition and preferential payments to a personal friend and creditor, identified in the Indictment as Individual A. The purpose of Cossey’s scheme was to avail herself of the benefits of bankruptcy—including preventing foreclosure on her home, reducing the majority of her debt on a rental property in Gary, Indiana, and eliminating her unsecured debt for pennies on the dollar—without making any of the financial sacrifices required by Chapter 13 debtors.

The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that an Indictment is merely an allegation and that all persons are presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty in court.

If convicted, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the Judge after a consideration of federal statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service in collaboration with the Northern Indiana Bankruptcy Fraud Working Group coordinated by the U.S. Trustee for Region 10.   This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Abizer Zanzi. 

The U.S. Trustee Program is the component of the Justice Department that protects the integrity of the bankruptcy system by overseeing case administration and litigating to enforce the bankruptcy laws. Region 10 is headquartered in Indianapolis, with additional offices in South Bend, Ind., and Peoria, Ill.

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