An area couple has pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud.
Thomas G. Grogan, 50, and Debra A. Grogan, 54, both of Lawrenceville, each pleaded guilty Friday in United States District Court in Benton to a one-count information charging them with fraudulently concealing assets from the U.S. trustee during the pendency of their 2009 case in federal bankruptcy court, according to Stephen R. Wigginton, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.
The information alleged that the couple, who had filed a bankruptcy petition in which they were seeking to discharge $24,506 in debts they owed to various creditors, repeatedly failed to disclose on their petition or to the trustee that Thomas Grogan expected to receive a settlement of $111,770.05 from a class action lawsuit of which he was a class member related to the prescription drug Vioxx.
The Grogans each face up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years supervision after their releases. Sentencings for both are set for April 12 in Benton.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Office of the U.S. Trustee. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James M. Cutchin.