U.S. Department of Justice Logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

U.S. Department of Justice Logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai woman sentenced in bankruptcy fraud case

Saray Lockwood formerly operated Kenai Dental Clinic with her late-husband Dr. Glenn Lockwood

Saray Lockwood, a 58-year-old Kenai resident who formerly operated Kenai Dental Clinic with her late-husband Dr. Glenn Lockwood, was sentenced to a year in prison for bankruptcy fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Monday.

According to a release from the office, Lockwood “made false statements under penalty of perjury” during bankruptcy proceedings that began in April 2019.

Both Lockwood and her husband were charged last year with 84 counts of individual income tax evasion, conspiracy to defraud the United States, bankruptcy fraud, concealment of bankruptcy assets, false oath in bankruptcy, false bankruptcy declaration, fraudulent proof of claim in bankruptcy, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering, according to previous Clarion reporting.

A plea agreement signed by Lockwood in April, included in the court documents, says that she pleaded guilty to only one of those charges, “False Declaration in a Bankruptcy.” That guilty plea says that Lockwood made a false claim knowingly and fraudulently during a bankruptcy proceeding.

The release says that in May 2021, Lockwood said that her family members had loaned money to a corporate entity she and her husband owned for the purpose of purchasing properties that had been seized and auctioned by the Internal Revenue Service.

Those loans, the plea agreement says, were not from her family members and were not loans at all — instead coming from investment and retirement accounts owned by her husband. The agreement says that Lockwood knew that the false claim would affect “discharge of debts and distribution of any remaining assets” and that she made the claim intending to conceal the fact that the corporate entity was entirely funded and owned by herself and her husband.

The maximum prison sentence connected with the felony charge to which Lockwood pleaded guilty is five years, but an Oct. 5 sentencing memorandum by Assistant Federal Defender Burke Wonnell also included in court documents recommends a “below-guideline” because of several factors. These include the death of her husband last October, which leaves Lockwood a single mother to a minor child, as well as Lockwood’s personal background outside of the United States and cited evidence that they say leads to the conclusion that “Glenn called the shots with respect to the Lockwood’s’ finances.”

The memo notes that Lockwood has no other criminal history, and that though she is “certainly culpable for the felony misconduct she committed,” her circumstances “mitigate strongly” in favor of the below-guideline sentence.

“With Glenn’s demise, the chances of Saray engaging in other fraudulent misconduct are effectively zero,” the memo reads.

Though the memo recommends Lockwood only be sentenced to probation, she was sentenced to the year in prison — technically one year and one day — as well as three years of “supervised release.”

According to the release, U.S. District Judge Joshua M. Kindred cited “general deterrence” as a factor in his sentencing decision.

“For over 10 years, Ms. Lockwood executed calculated efforts to evade millions in tax payments and filed false statements in bankruptcy court to perpetuate the scheme,” U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker says in the release. “White collar criminals, like Ms. Lockwood, that evade taxes and file false statements to avoid their debts harm law abiding citizens.”

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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