RICHMOND, Va. – A Glen Allen man pleaded guilty today to executing a mail fraud scheme during the course of his bankruptcy proceeding in order to conceal the true extent of his financial assets from the Bankruptcy Trustee and his numerous creditors.
According to court documents, in January 2019, William Henry Romm, III, 44, filed a Voluntary Petition for Bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. In filing that petition, Romm deliberately concealed his recent receipt of both a sizeable life insurance policy payout and a parcel of real estate, both of which he had received following his father’s death. Romm shortly thereafter sold that real estate and spent the bulk of those concealed proceeds on, among other things, a boat for his personal use.
Over the course of the next two years, Romm continued to conceal his receipt and dissipation of additional funds, including more than $268,000 that he received from the sale of his late father’s residence. Romm’s efforts to conceal also included concealing his marital status from the Court and Trustees by representing himself as single in his court filings; opening bank and brokerage accounts in his wife’s name, but over which he maintained control; using those accounts to hide the real estate sale proceeds; drafting checks on the bank account by forging his wife’s signature; and using the brokerage account to trade stocks he purchased with those real estate sale proceeds.
To ensure the Bankruptcy Court and Trustee remained unaware of his financial activities, Romm also filed knowingly false paperwork with the Bankruptcy Court and made numerous false statements under oath. In total, Romm concealed more than $400,000 in assets from the Bankruptcy Court before the Court dismissed his bankruptcy case in August of 2021.
Romm is scheduled to be sentenced on August 19. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson accepted the plea.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas A. Garnett is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:22-cr-41.