ABINGDON, Va. – An Abingdon man, who hid bank accounts and other assets from a federal bankruptcy court during his Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, was sentenced to 12 months in prison yesterday federal government and ordered to pay a fine of $4,000.
Ronald Eugene Lefler, 67, pleaded guilty in March 2020 to one count of fraudulent bankruptcy when he knowingly and fraudulently failed to disclose and otherwise concealed assets from the United States trustee and creditors in a case pending bankruptcy in United States Bankruptcy Court.
According to court documents, on September 20, 2015, Lefler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Western District of Virginia and testified under oath that he had fully disclosed all known bank accounts under his control and that he had deposited all of his earnings in a “debtor-in-possession” bank account, a requirement as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Lefler also waived, under oath, not to own any other assets not declared elsewhere, including other vehicles and watercraft.
A subsequent investigation determined that Lefler not only concealed valuable assets, including several farm animals and a houseboat, but also maintained and actively used segregated bank accounts at Eastman Credit Union. Records showed Lefler opened these accounts under false names and used the money for personal expenses, including numerous large withdrawals at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina.
U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh of the Western District of Virginia made the announcement.
Assistant United States Attorney Daniel J. Murphy prosecuted the case.