Mary Cossey Enters Guilty Plea

HAMMOND-Mary Cossey, age 54, of Munster, Indiana, entered a plea of guilty to one count of wire fraud before United States District Court Judge Philip P. Simon, announced Acting United States Attorney Tina L. Nommay.

According to documents in this case, Cossey engaged in a scheme to defraud the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee and her creditors in order to take advantage of the benefits of bankruptcy—including the imposition of a stay on collection and elimination of debts—without making the financial sacrifices required under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Cossey did not disclose on her bankruptcy petition a personal debt relationship with her personal friend and creditor, identified in the Indictment as Individual A. Even though she was prohibited from incurring new debts during her bankruptcy case, Cossey charged over $240,000 on Individual A’s credit card during the course of her bankruptcy for personal expenses including multiple vacations, luxury clothing and accessories, and jewelry. Cossey incurred other post-petition debts without the permission of the Trustee and failed to disclose changes in her employment and income during her case. Cossey repaid most of her debt Individual A, while unsecured creditors received only 27% repayment for debts that were discharged in bankruptcy.  Under the terms of the plea agreement, Cossey will be required to pay $81,159.97 in restitution to the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service in collaboration with the Northern Indiana Region 10 Office of the U.S. Trustee, Nancy J. Gargula. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Abizer Zanzi and Thomas McGrath. 

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