SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 27, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A Salt Lake City attorney has been sentenced for his role in a bankruptcy scheme.
Eric Singleton, 56, was sentenced Monday to 12 months and one day in federal prison by a judge in the District of Utah.
In addition, Singleton was ordered to serve two years of supervised release after the completion of his federal prison sentence and was ordered to pay $266,843 in restitution to the victims of his crime.
“In the plea agreement, Singleton admitted that, from May of 2016 until September of 2017, he made false statements to the United States Bankruptcy Court, the bankruptcy trustee, and his clients, to facilitate his fraudulent scheme to embezzle money from client trust accounts and spend the money for his own personal use,” says a statement issued by the Department of Justice, Utah District.
“Singleton carried out the fraud by advising his clients, ‘SYN’ and ‘CCN,’ to transfer over approximately $288,000 to Singleton, which were proceeds from the sale of their properties, for Singleton to pay his attorney’s fees of $22,000 and to hold the remaining amount of $266,000 in his client trust accounts.
“Singleton advised his clients that he would hold the money for safekeeping to ensure that the money would not be taken by collections. Singleton then advised his clients he would return the money to his clients after the completion of their bankruptcy case. Singleton then spent the $266,000 for business and personal use.”
After Singleton had embezzled the $266,000, he filed three separate bankruptcy proceedings for his clients in the United States Bankruptcy Court, the statement says.
“During these bankruptcy proceedings, Singleton falsely stated to the court and the trustee that these individuals had less than $50,000 in assets, despite the fact that CCN and SYN had transferred over $266,000 to Singleton prior to the filing of these bankruptcy cases.”
Following these three separate bankruptcy cases, Singleton filed two of his own bankruptcy cases in a continued effort to hide and conceal that he had embezzled $266,000 from his clients and then spent the money for business and personal use, the statement says.
The case was prosecuted by an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah and a Special Assistant United States Attorney with the United States Trustee’s Office for the District of Utah, and was investigated by Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations.