Munster woman ordered to pay more than $80,000 in restitution to Chapter 13 trustee | USAO-NDIN

HAMMOND—Mary Lois Cossey, 55, of Munster, Indiana, was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Philip P. Simon following her August 2021 guilty plea to a count wire fraud charges, U.S. Attorney Clifford D. Johnson said.

Cossey was sentenced to 2 years probation and was ordered to pay $81,159.97 in restitution to the Chapter 13 trustee appointed to administer her case for the benefit of her creditors.

According to documents in that case, Cossey engaged in a scheme to defraud the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee and his creditors in order to take advantage of the benefits of Virginia bankruptcy laws – including the imposition of a stay of collection and debt elimination – without making the sacrifices required under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Cossey did not disclose in his bankruptcy petition a debt relationship with his personal friend and creditor, identified in the indictment as Person A. during his bankruptcy for personal expenses, including multiple vacations, luxury clothing and accessories, and jewelry. Cossey incurred further debt after the petition without permission from the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee and did not disclose changes in his employment and income during his case. Cossey repaid most of his debt to Person A, while unsecured creditors only received 27% repayment for debts that were discharged in bankruptcy.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service in conjunction with the Northern Indiana Bankruptcy Fraud Working Group coordinated by Region 10 US Trustee, Nancy J. Gargula. A lawyer from the US Trustee’s South Bend office also provided assistance. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Abizer Zanzi and Thomas McGrath.

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