Florida woman sentenced for bankruptcy fraud | USAO-NDWV

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA — Heather Lynn Pratt, of Fort Myers, Fla., was sentenced today to five years probation for fraudulent bankruptcy, U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced.

Pratt, 32, pleaded guilty in April 2021 to one count of “fraudulent concealment of bankruptcy assets.” At the time of the offense, Pratt was employed by Emerald Grande, LLC and had access to the Florida-based company’s finances. Emerald Grande operated two La Quinta Inns & Suites in West Virginia, one in Elkview and the other in Summersville, as well as a commercial property in Charleston known as the Kanawha Landing Property. Emerald Grande was a debtor in a bankruptcy case filed and pending in Clarksburg Bankruptcy Court in the United States.

Pratt admitted to hiding more than $145,000 that she embezzled from the operating account of the LaQuinta Inn & Suites in Summersville from the bankruptcy trustee, when in fact that money belonged to the debtor, Emerald Grande, LLC.

Pratt was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $145,386.93 to the US bankruptcy trustee.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod J. Douglas prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The FBI investigated.

U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Kleeh presided.

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