If you file for personal bankruptcy in Illinois, you must tell the truth, and if you don’t, you could go to prison. Another person in Illinois has been convicted of bankruptcy fraud, and that hurts everyone who’s honest and who declares bankruptcy for legitimate reasons. If you’re struggling with overwhelming debts in the Chicago area, and if you don’t think those debts can ever be paid, discuss your circumstances at once with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy lawyer.

An Oak Brook woman was sentenced in September to serve a year and a day in federal prison on two counts of bankruptcy fraud for failing to disclose $70,000 worth of property and trying to conceal another $125,000 last year. Rana J. Clarizio, 46, allegedly tried to hide a Mercedes-Benz, a Rolex, jewelry, artwork, and resort memberships when she filed for bankruptcy in early 2014, according to prosecutors. Clarizio then lied under oath during a meeting with creditors, according to Assistant U.S. Lawyer Donald Clark. Clarizio was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release after completion of her prison term and ordered to pay $185,585 in restitution, according to court records. Clarizio pleaded guilty to both counts of bankruptcy fraud in May after waiving her right to have her case presented to a federal grand jury.

When you are buried in debts – and you don’t see any way out – bankruptcy may or may not be your best option. You’ll need to discuss your financial circumstances promptly with an experienced Chicago bankruptcy lawyer who can help you file for bankruptcy or recommend to you a better option. However, you must be entirely and absolutely honest with your bankruptcy lawyer and with the court. Otherwise, your money problems will quickly become legal problems that could land you in jail. You do not want or need that kind of trouble. Instead, let an experienced Chicago bankruptcy lawyer handle every aspect of your bankruptcy. If your debts are mounting, make the call now.