POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A 46-year-old Idaho Falls man pleaded guilty to knowingly and fraudulently concealing assets in a bankruptcy proceeding and agreed to immediately forfeit $25,000 to the United States, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced Thursday.
Andrew Welch was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pocatello on August 27, 2019.
Sentencing is set for October 14, 2020, before U.S. District Judge David C. Nye at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.
According to court records, Welch, a former pharmacist in Ketchum, Idaho, filed a voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition and supporting documents on April 3, 2014, and listed general unsecured debts totaling $273,840.88. Welch, however, signed the petition and supporting documents under the penalty of perjury, falsely stating he did not own any real property and that he only had personal property worth $13,564.60.
Welch knowingly and fraudulently failed to disclose in the bankruptcy petition and supporting documents the transfer of more than $250,000 of his own funds to an investment account held in the name of another individual. Those transfers occurred through cashier’s checks, cash deposits, wire transfers, and money orders between September 2012 and January 2015, and Welch made all the transfers to conceal such funds.
Welch also knowingly and fraudulently failed to disclose his purchase of real property in Idaho Falls for $123,500 in January 2012, or the ensuing fraudulent transfer of the real property to a second individual, who did not provide Welch with any value for the real property. In addition, Welch falsely testified under oath during the bankruptcy proceedings that he had no interest in the aforementioned investment account or real property, which in truth and fact, he did.
Welch faces up to five years in federal prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and one year of supervised release.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.