St. Paul (KROC-AM News) - A Willmar attorney has pleaded guilty to fraudulent concealment of bankruptcy assets.

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Prosecutors said 63-year-old Gregory Anderson prepared and filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition for his client, James Rothers in November 2015. Upon the filing of the petition, Anderson knew that Rothers’ assets, wherever located, became property of a “bankruptcy estate” to be used to pay Rothers’ creditors. Anderson also filed a set of Rothers’ bankruptcy schedules in which Rothers was required to disclose the value of all his assets as of November 3, 2015.

Court documents say prior to the filing of the petition, Anderson created fake liabilities to create the appearance that Rothers was insolvent when Rother could easily have paid all of his creditors.

Anderson arranged to have a fictitious lawsuit filed against Rothers, and then instructed Rothers to default in that lawsuit. This created a judgment of approximately $608,000 against Rothers to further the appearance that he was insolvent.

The Willmar attorney also created documents that made it appear that an Iowa company had loaned $240,000 to Rothers and that Rothers had an obligation to repay this loan. The loan was bogus and created to bolster the appearance of Rothers’ insolvency.

As Rothers’ bankruptcy attorney, Anderson had to certify that the petition filed with the bankruptcy court was true and accurate. When Anderson filed Rothers’ bankruptcy petition he certified that he had no knowledge that the information in Rothers’ schedules was incorrect, even though Anderson knew about the efforts to make Rothers appear insolvent.

He knew that Rothers had purposefully failed to disclose on his bankruptcy schedules $100,000 in gold coins; $686,000 on deposit in bank accounts for two companies; and $455,484 in uncashed checks.

Court documents say that Anderson helped Rothers open one of the concealed bank accounts and received portions of his legal fees from the other.

Anderson pleaded guilty Monday to one count of fraudulent concealment of bankruptcy assets. His plea agreement includes a requirement that he be voluntarily disbarred. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

In November 2019, Rothers pleaded guilty to one count of fraudulent concealment of bankruptcy assets. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

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