Goshen bankruptcy preparer pleads guilty to federal indictment

A nonlawyer who prepared bankruptcy petitions for northern Indiana clients has pleaded guilty to two counts of subornation of perjury for falsely claiming in court filings that she was paid half the fee she actually charged clients.

Ronya Phillips, 47, of Goshen, pleaded guilty before Northern District of Indiana Judge Damon R. Leichty, acting Northern District U.S. Attorney Gary T. Bell announced in a press release Thursday.

Phillips was formerly a bankruptcy petition preparer who for debtors filed bankruptcy petitions and other documents in the Northern District Bankruptcy Court.

Phillips admitted she willfully suborned and procured two individuals to commit perjury by submitting material false declarations in federal bankruptcy proceedings, Bell said. Both incidents were related to Phillips inducing the individuals to falsely state in forms related to their bankruptcy petitions that they had paid Ms. Phillips half of the amount they had actually paid her for her services.

According to a 10-count indictment handed down by a grand jury last September, Phillips was charged with five counts each of making false statements under oath in a bankruptcy case and suborning perjury. In multiple cases, Phillips was accused of filing papers in which bankruptcy petitioners claimed they paid her $150 when they actually had paid $300 for her petition preparing services.

Leichty set sentencing for June 7 in the South Bend Division. The case is United States v. Phillips, 3:20-CR-90.

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