SACRAMENTO : Kulvir Singh Cheema, 61, of Ripon, was sentenced today to 14 months in prison, a $4,000 fine, and was ordered to pay $259,031 in restitution for filing a false bankruptcy declaration, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, Cheema lied about various material facts in a declaration and other documents in a bankruptcy proceeding, which he initiated in 2011. Cheema’s numerous lies in the bankruptcy proceeding—all made under penalty of perjury—created the false impression that he was bankrupt with no assets and deceived his creditors, the bankruptcy trustee, and the bankruptcy judge. Cheema’s lies were extensive. He lied about his business, income, employment, and assets. For example, before filing for bankruptcy, Cheema transferred his business to a new company purportedly run by his ex-wife and concealed his association with the new company. Cheema also falsely claimed he lost his residence in foreclosure when, in fact, he sold it to a close friend in a short sale while continuing to reside there. Through his lies, Cheema successfully discharged over $2 million in debt while managing to conceal $259,031 in assets from his creditors and electing to pay a close friend for a personal loan.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliot C. Wong prosecuted the case.
Cheema has been ordered to report on Jan. 10, 2023, to begin serving his sentence.