Ex- NFL Pro Bowler to Plead Guilty to Bankruptcy Fraud

Ex- NFL Pro Bowler to Plead Guilty to Bankruptcy Fraud

Fresh on the heels of the government's indictment of Lenny Dystra for bankruptcy fraud, Dr. Rick Sanford, a former first round draft pick by the New England Patriots and 1983 Pro-Bowler, has agreed to plead guilty to fraud in relation to his South Carolina bankruptcy filing.

Now a chiropractic doctor, Dr. Rick Sanford, agreed to a single count of bankruptcy fraud for failing to include a Vail, Colorado condominium he owned on his bankruptcy petition. Dr. Rick Sanford listed 3 other properties and a lot of land as the complete list of real property that he owned at the time he filed bankruptcy. The values of the properties that he scheduled totaled over $1.8 million. The Vail property that he omitted is worth around $70,000.

Dr. Rick Sanford could be sentenced to five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Dates for his formal guilty plea and the sentencing have not been set.

A stand-out player at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Rick Sanford was chosen as a postseason All American following the 1978 season.

He was then chosen by the New England Patriots as the 25th overall selection in the first round of the 1979 NFL draft- the first first round draft pick in the University of South Carolina football history. He played seven years in the NFL and was named to the 1983 All-Pro team, during which he tied the NFL lead in interceptions. He still holds the record for the longest interception return in Soldier Field history, with a return of 99 yards versus the Chicago Bears in 1982.

As is required when filing for bankruptcy, Dr. Rick Sanford signed his petition declaring under penalty of perjury that his representation of assets and liabilities was accurate. It only took the U.S. trustee 3 months to file a complaint against him, alleging he made misrepresentations about his financial status and that he "knew or should have known" he didn't report everything he should have in his original filing.

Why did he do it? Did he think because the property was outside the state where he filed bankruptcy, no one would ever know?

Only Dr. Rick Sanford can tells us why he omitted the property but his situation demonstrates the most important point about filing for bankruptcy- one we emphasize in our book- don't file unless you can be completely honest about everything you owe and own.

Make sure you understand everything you can about what bankruptcy can and cannot do for you if you plan on filing for bankruptcy. And, don't try to be cute or sneaky. Bankruptcy works for the honest debtor.

Read more at the State, South Carolina's Hompage.

Read more articles about consumer debt by Ted Connolly, co-author of The Road Out of Debt

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