A Salt Lake City lawyer has been sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud.
Eric Singleton, 56, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office for Utah. Singleton was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release after his prison term ends, and he’ll have to pay $266,843 in restitution to his victims.
In August, Singleton pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from two clients. According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Singleton advised those clients to transfer approximately $288,000 to him to cover $22,000 in attorney’s fees.
He told the clients he would hold the additional $266,000 “for safekeeping and to ensure that the money would not be taken by collections” — then spent the money himself.
Singleton then filed three separate bankruptcy proceedings for the two clients and “falsely stated to the court and the trustee that these individuals had less than $50,000 in assets” — even though $266,000 of their money had been transferred to him.
In addition, Singleton filed two of his own bankruptcy cases “in a continued effort to … conceal that he had embezzled $266,000 from his clients and then spent the money.”
The FBI investigated the case, according to the news release.