Centre businessman admits concealing bankruptcy assets

From PennLive

WILLIAMSPORT – A Centre County paving company and car wash owner has admitted concealing bankruptcy assets but disputes the amount alleged by the government.

Andrew Lee Coleman, 65, of Sandy Ridge, on Wednesday in U.S. Middle District Court admitted he concealed between $250,000 and $550,000 between October 2015 and December 2016 but disputes the exact amount of $380,000.

He also admitted when he pleaded guilty that he failed to report the transfer to his daughter of a 1968 Camaro for which he kept two sets of keys and falsified monthly reports to a bankruptcy trustee.

Coleman could receive up to five years in prison but the estimate given in court was 24 to 30 months. He remains free pending sentencing.

He and his former wife filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition arising from the default on approximately $2 million in loans used to build a bowling alley that he and a business partner operated.

There is no evidence the former wife was involved in the cover-up, which included claiming to a bankruptcy trustee he had no money, Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel said.

The cash was kept in safes at one of his businesses, Coleman’s Asphalt, and in the trunk of the Camaro parked in a garage next to his home, the prosecutor said.

When he reported cash was stolen from the Camaro he told state police he was concealing casino earnings and money owed creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding, Rocktashel said. No details of the theft were revealed.

Had the case gone to trial, the government would have presented evidence between $30,000 and $40,000 was found in an office safe shelf, he said.

Coleman told investigators a briefcase also in the safe contained more than $200,000 he was saving for retirement, Rocktashel said.

After the fraud was discovered, Coleman filed amended monthly reports with the trustee disclosing more than $160,000 in cash.

The plea agreement requires him to make full restitution and cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service.