Back in March, John Roesser, a former Biglaw partner, was arrested for making false statements and submitting falsified records in the course of his own bankruptcy proceeding. Roesser was a partner at five firms between 2010 and 2018, jumping from Seyfarth Shaw to Winston & Strawn to Alston & Bird to Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer before he finally landed at Dechert.
As we noted previously, while Roesser’s income was “substantial,” so were his tax obligations (to the tune of approximately $3.8+ million). Those allegedly went unpaid, and he resigned from the New York bar in 2020 after he admitted to misappropriating six figures in client funds. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2022, and was later indicted after claiming that he was about to receive nearly $10 million to pay his immense tax debts — that money never materialized.
Earlier this week, Roesser pleaded guilty before Judge Analisa Torres of the Southern District of New York to one count of making false statements under penalty of perjury and submitting falsified records in his bankruptcy case. The New York Law Journal has additional details:
Roesser said he participated in the submission of false records and a false monthly operating report filed in the bankruptcy proceeding in September 2022.
“At the time I made the falsified records and submitted the falsified report, I knew it was illegal to do so,” Roesser said.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams (S.D.N.Y) offered these comments in the wake of Roesser’s guilty plea:
“The United States bankruptcy system does immense public good and provides a backstop for people trying to lawfully navigate their way out of debt,” Williams said. “The defendant—who used to be a lawyer and knew exactly what he was doing—manipulated and corrupted a system that helps so many. He lied to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York so that he could use its protections to keep his assets and to avoid paying his bills. This Office will bring to justice those who abuse the public’s trust and use their status to try to place themselves above the law.”
Roesser faces up to five years in prison and three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced in January.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter and Threads or connect with her on LinkedIn.