Bankruptcy Crimes: Third Edition
By Stephanie Wickouski
2007/08 - Beard Books
1587982722 - Hardcover - 415 pp.
Must reading for bankruptcy professionals.
Foreword by E. Lawrence Barcella, Jr.,
Bankruptcy law provides one of those unique intersections where different disciplines of the law should, but don’t always, come together. Bankruptcy has its own clear, but distinct, criminal and civil components. Oftentimes, practitioners who focus on bankruptcy law do not have the criminal law background to appreciate the consequences of certain conduct nor recognize the techniques and process used by prosecutors investigating that conduct. Conversely, white collar criminal practitioners almost never have the background in bankruptcy law, its regulations and nuances, to understand or appreciate potential defenses that may arise. Similarly, prosecutors, when they investigate offenses arising out of a bankruptcy situation, often resort to charging other offenses with which they are more familiar and comfortable, rather than using the Bankruptcy Criminal Code. Fraud, perjury, bribery, embezzlement, money laundering, and destruction of records are easily recognizable to white collar defense attorneys and prosecutors, but may be treated very differently in a bankruptcy context.
The immediate and obvious value of this book as I read it is that Stephanie Wickouski understands both sides of the bankruptcy issue. For years there has been a need for a treatise that explains criminal law and process to bankruptcy lawyers, and bankruptcy law to criminal practitioners. This book does exactly that. Whether explaining the elements of criminal offenses or outlining the statutory intricacies of bankruptcy law, Ms. Wickouski takes the reader, whatever his or her background going in, and explains the situation from all perspectives. The pitfalls of parallel proceedings become clear and understandable to the practitioner reading this book.
Having known Stephanie Wickouski for nearly 15 years, it was easy for me to understand how she could take different perspectives on bankruptcy, some of which are contradictory and many of which are confusing, and explain them so that all could understand. If I were a lawyer involved in a bankruptcy matter, whether civil or criminal, and had only one reference work that I could rely upon, it would be this book.
From Harvey R. Miller, Esq., Weil, Gotshal & Manges:
Protect yourself and your clients! Bankruptcy Crimes is an essential tool for the bankruptcy practitioner. It provides a comprehensive overview of an important but often ignored subject. Understanding the Bankruptcy Criminal Code and its application to reorganization and other cases is mandatory for the discharge of professional responsibilities.
From D. J. (Jan) Baker, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom:
Stephanie Wickouski has written the definitive work on the subject in her book, Bankruptcy Crimes. In it, she masterfully surveys and analyzes the sometimes conflicting worlds of bankruptcy and criminal law. Every bankruptcy practitioner who confronts a criminal issue will find this work indispensable, as will every criminal lawyer who confronts a bankruptcy issue. It cannot be recommended too highly.
From Howard Brod Brownstein, CTP, Principal, NachmanHaysBrownstein, Inc.:
Bankruptcy Crimes illustrates how easily one can blunder into criminal territory in bankruptcy matters. As the author states, “In many instances, [criminal] violations can occur even if there is no benefit to the defendant and no injury to any creditor.” Ms. Wickouski’s valuable book, which is thoroughly readable, provides turnaround practitioners with vital signposts to help their clients and themselves recognize problems and avoid them; it should be required reading.
From John Wm. (“Jack”) Butler, Jr., Partner and Co-Practice Leader
In Bankruptcy Crimes, Stephanie Wickouski teaches us how to identify and deal with fraudulent and other illegal acts that otherwise undermine a fair and effective American bankruptcy system. This unique treatise is a road map for sorting out the good guys from the bad guys - and provides clear guidance to help individuals and companies that find themselves in an over-stressed and difficult financial situation avoid “crossing the line.” Bankruptcy Crimes is required reading for corporate executives of troubled companies - and any serious bankruptcy practitioner or advisor.
From Scott L. Hazan, Chairman of the Insolvency Practice
Stephanie Wickouski has addressed an important subject in an easy to read, comprehensive fashion. This book represents the “state of the art” in navigating the numerous statutes that are applicable to determining the existence of, and causing the prosecution of, bankruptcy crimes.
From J. Andrew Rahl, Jr. , Anderson Kill & Olick:
No book reviews available.
Stephanie Wickouski is a Partner in the Corporate Restructuring Practice of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and is Regional Partner in Charge of the Firm's New York City office. Ms. Wickouski was named one of 12 Outstanding Restructuring Lawyers in the U.S. for 2006 by Turnarounds & Workouts. For over twenty five years, she has represented a diverse range of clients in complex reorganization cases throughout the country and has counseled clients on all aspects of credit and financial relationships. She is a frequent lecturer, author, and commentator on bankruptcy, restructuring, and financial fraud. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Wickouski was a trial attorney with the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and received several awards for her handling of bankruptcy litigation. She lives in lower Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood with her husband, David A. Fletcher, a noted musician and director.