Hershey man pleads guilty to bankruptcy fraud related charges

HARRISBURG — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Michael Jay Jackson, age 57, of Hershey, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson to bankruptcy fraud related charges.

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Jackson was charged in an indictment in February 2017 with 12 counts of wire fraud, five counts of bankruptcy fraud, nine counts of false bankruptcy declarations, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Jackson pleaded guilty to all 28 counts of the indictment.

Jackson admitted he defrauded his creditors, the Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of PA, and his wife, by filing seven Chapter 13 and 11 bankruptcy petitions, five of which were filed under Jackson’s name and two of which were filed under his wife’s name without her knowledge. The petitions contained false information regarding Jackson’s income, assets, and employment, and were filed in order to postpone multiple Sheriff’s sales of his Hershey residence.

Jackson filed the last two petitions on June 3, 2015, and January 19, 2017, under his wife’s name without her knowledge after the Bankruptcy Court barred Jackson from filing any further petitions for two years on May 28, 2015.

The case was investigated by the Harrisburg Offices of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Kim Douglas Daniel is prosecuting the case.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment. Bankruptcy fraud and false statements in Bankruptcy matters both carry a five-year statutory maximum. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year consecutive sentence.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Source: United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Middle District of Pennsylvania