Monmouth County man charged with bankruptcy fraud | USAO-NJ

NEWARK, NJ – A man from Monmouth County, New Jersey, appeared in court today for allegedly filing a fraudulent bankruptcy petition claiming he had limited assets and hundreds of millions dollars in liabilities, when in fact he had $ 2.9 million in a hidden bank account, Acting United States Prosecutor Rachael Honig announced today.

Elia Zois, 56, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, is charged with one count of bankruptcy cover-up. He is due to appear this afternoon by videoconference before the American magistrate Leda Dunn Wettre.

According to the complaint:

Zois was one of five partners in “Business-2”, a New Jersey-based healthcare organization that operated approximately 50 senior citizens’ residences in New Jersey, Michigan and Wisconsin. On February 6, 2019, he and his wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, alleging that between 2014 and 2018, he only had $ 9,000 in assets and $ 201 million in liabilities. , based on its partnership in Business-2. A forensic report concluded that during this period, Zois had received $ 2.9 million in deposits into the bank account of “Business-1” – of which Zois was the sole owner – of which approximately $ 200,000 in income. not declared after filing for bankruptcy. The hidden account was intended to conceal a portion of its income to bypass existing IRS privileges over its known assets.

The count of concealment in a bankruptcy carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000.

Acting US Attorney Honig credited US Department of Labor investigators with the Employee Benefits Security Administration, under the supervision of regional director Thomas Licetti; and Special Constables from the Department of Labor (OIG), New York Region, under the direction of Acting Special Agent Nikitas Splagounias, the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked the special agents of the FBI, Milwaukee field office, for their help.

The government is represented by Senior Legal Counsel V. Grady O’Malley of the Gangs and Organized Crime Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are only charges, and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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