Defrauding Creditors Law & Defense
PC 154 Crimes
Information on the crime of defrauding creditor, also called fraudulent conveyance or transfer, is found at California penal code section 154 & 155. In short, a fraudulent conveyance is transfer of money or property to another person in order to avoid having that property foreclosed upon by a creditor.
For example, defendant selling his or her car after he or she has a notice of a lien against the car, but before the creditor has had a chance to record the lien, is defrauding a creditor. It does not matter if the defendant received compensation for the car; his or her conveyance of the car, after having notice of the lien, is a fraudulent conveyance.
PC 154 & 155 Law
PC 154(a): Every debtor who fraudulently removes his or her property or effects out of this state, or who fraudulently sells, conveys, assigns or conceals his or her property with intent to defraud, hinder or delay his or her creditors of their rights, claims, or demands, is punishable by guilty of defrauding creditors (Abbrev.).
PC 154(b): Where the property so removed, sold, conveyed, assigned, or concealed consists of a stock in trade, or a part thereof, of a value exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250), the offense shall be a felony and punishable as such.
PC 155(a): Every person against whom an action is pending, or against whom a judgment has been rendered for the recovery of any personal property, who fraudulently conceals, sells, or disposes of that property, with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud the person bringing the action or recovering the judgment, or with such intent removes that property beyond the limits of the county in which it may be at the time of the commencement of the action or the rendering of the judgment, is guilty of a fraudulent conveyance (Abbrev.).
PC 155(b): Where the property so concealed, sold, disposed of, or removed consists of a stock in trade, or a part thereof, of a value exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250), the offenses shall be a felony and punishable as such.
Note: The difference between PC 154 and 155 is that PC 154 applies to property that already has a lien against it or is otherwise already owed to another person.; PC 155 applies to property that is about to be part of a judgment (pending).
PC 154 & 154 Sentence
PC 154(a) is classified as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of PC 154(a), the defendant could face up to one year in jail. (Charged as PC154(a)-M).
PC 154(b) is classified as a felony. If found guilty of PC 154(b), the defendant could face up t three years in prison. (Charged as PC154(b)-F).
PC 155(a) is classified as a misdemeanor,. If found guilty of PC 154(a), the defendant could face up to one year in jail. (Charged as PC155(a)-M).
PC 155(b) is classified as felony. If found guilty of PC 155(b), the defendant could face up to three years in prison. (Charged as PC155(b)-F).
Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is a period of supervision in lieu of a jail or prison sentence. Probation sentences are allowed in PC 154 & 155 cases, but not guaranteed. Whether or not a probation sentence will be granted after a conviction for defrauding creditors depends on the facts of the case, the sophistication of the crime, and the defendant's criminal history, among other factors.
PC 1170(h): If found guilty of PC 154(b) felony defrauding creditors, and if the defendant does not receive a probation sentence, the defendant must serve his or her time in prison, as opposed to a local county jail, and not part of that prison sentence may be split (served half in custody and half out of custody) or suspended (not served as a condition of probation).
CIMT: Fraudulent conveyances and defrauding creditors are crimes involving moral turpitude. Crimes involving moral turpitude are crimes that involve deceit or are morally wrong. If found guilty of PC 154 or 155, the defendant could suffer enhanced penalties associated with immigration (for non U.S. citizens) and professional licensing status(lawyers, doctors, dentists, psychologists, nurses, etc.).
In addition to the punishments listed above, if found guilty of defrauding creditors, the defendant could suffer any of the following penalties: fines and fees, restitution to victims, criminal protective orders (restraining orders), civil lawsuits (Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act Suits), denial of entry into the armed services, and more.
PC 154 & 155 Defense
Common defenses to charges of defrauding creditors include: insufficient evidence, mistake of fact, coerced confessions, illegal search and seizure, insanity, necessity, and more.
If you have been arrested or charged with defrauding creditors, or fraudulent conveyances, (PC 154 & 155) contact out criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our criminal attorneys are available 7 days a week to answer all of your questions. Call today!.
Quick Legal Reference
Crime: Defrauding Creditors by Hiding Property
Code: PC 154(b)
Wobbler: No. PC 154(b) is not a wobbler. This means that PC 154(b) is always charged as a felony.
Incarceration: PC 154(b) prison sentence range: 16 months, 2 or 3 years prison (if probation not granted).
Probation: Probation sentence could be available in PC 154(b) cases (assuming other crimes or enhancements that bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.
PC 1170(h)): No. PC 154(b) is not subject to PC 1170(h) sentencing. This means that any incarceration ordered after a felony conviction, that is not part of a probation sentence, must be served in state prison (as opposed to a county jail), and the prison sentence may not be split or suspended.
Strike: PC 154(b) is not a strike offense listed in California's Three Strikes law.
Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.
CIMT: PC 154(b) is a crime involving moral turpitude, which means that an arrest or conviction could lead to the following:
Professional Licensing problems
Impeachment on credibility
Firearms: Felony PC 154(b) convictions prohibit defendant from owning or possessing a firearm.
Bail: $25,000 (San Bernardino County)
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