A Wallingford man faces up to five years in federal prison after pleading guilty Thursday to bankruptcy fraud.
Joel C. Riley, 47, pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court to one count of bankruptcy fraud, waiving his right to an indictment. He had also been facing charges of identity theft and conspiracy to commit each offense.
Riley, who was arrested in May 2018, remains free on $100,000 bond and is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 8. He faces a maximum term of five years.
According to a statement from U.S. attorney John H. Durham, Riley obtained loans and credit between July 2016 and April 2017 in the name of the victim, who was not identified. Total debt on the loans reached $211,142 by December 2016, when Riley met with a lawyer after indicating that he had power of attorney for the victim, who was ill, and that he wanted to petition for bankruptcy, Durham said.
Riley had a woman, identified in the statement only as “the imposter,” pose as the victim on June 6, 2017, Durham said. By that time, the debt had reached $277,000.
That same month, the victim’s credit card was denied and she learned about a bankruptcy petition filed in her name without her knowledge or approval, according to Durham.
The victim said that the only debt she authorized was a student loan, and stated that Riley had impersonated her in the past in order to obtain credit, Durham said. A bankruptcy court eventually dismissed the petition.
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