A Scottsdale aeronautics business owner is appealing two federal court decisions that found him guilty of bankruptcy fraud and sentenced him to nearly three years in prison.
A federal jury found Andrew Taylor, 51, guilty in May of scheming creditors by filing for five bankruptcies in six years with no intention of paying the creditors. The jury also found him guilty of fraudulently hiding the fact that he had hundreds of thousands of dollars with which he could have paid off his debts.
On Dec. 12, U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake sentenced Taylor to 33 months in a federal prison and ordered him to pay about $55,000 in restitution and a fine.
"Every time a creditor got close, then bang, he’d file for one of these bankruptcies," said John Tuchi, an assistant U.S. attorney in Phoenix.
The jury found Taylor could have paid his debts with $400,000 he got from the sale of an airplane or money he funneled through a secret bank account. But he failed to claim his assets on all his bankruptcy filings, Tuchi said.
Although Taylor is appealing the court’s decisions, he still will have to report to the U.S. Marshal’s Service in Phoenix on Jan. 23 to begin serving his sentence.
"My client disagrees with the judgment and the sentence," said Taylor’s Scottsdale lawyer, Cameron Morgan.
Morgan would not say why Taylor disagrees with the decisions, adding that the reasons are too technical. "Your eyes would cloud over and your ears would fill with wax," he said.
Tuchi said Taylor’s schemes worked because on each bankruptcy filing, he claimed he hadn’t filed before.
"I’ve got to give him credit," he said. "It was clever, but in the end it didn’t work out."