Woman pleads guilty to fraudulent bankruptcy filing


A Malvern, Ark., woman pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to using a friend’s name and social security number to file bankruptcy in a scheme to recoup a repossessed car.

Calandra Lock appeared before U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey with federal public defender Anna Williams Friday to plead guilty to an information charging Lock with misuse of a social security number. Assistant U.S. Attorney Claude Hawkins said Lock had agreed to take over Jacinda Clegg’s car payments in exchange for the car.

When Lock failed to make the car payments, it was repossessed by an auto dealer in Hot Springs. Lock contacted a lawyer and arranged to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy under Clegg’s name and social security number with the expectation the filing would result in a return of the repossessed ride. The duped lawyer filed bankruptcy under Clegg’s name May 26.

Lock now has a felony conviction. Hickey released Lock at the end of Friday’s hearing on a $5,000 unsecured bond. Hickey said Lock will probably be scheduled for formal sentencing once the court has received a pre-sentence investigation report which will include a recommendation for punishment under federal sentencing guidelines. Preparation of a pre-sentence report typically takes about 90 days.

Misuse of a social security number is punishable by up to five years in federal prison, a fine up to $250,000, or both. Hickey also said Lock could be ordered to pay restitution.

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