Wealth Manager Doug Jennings Pleads Guilty to Bankruptcy Fraud, Tax Evasion

A Rancho Santa Fe couple pleads guilty to charges in a multi-million dollar bankruptcy fraud and tax evasion case.

A Rancho Santa Fe couple entered guilty pleas in a multi-million dollar investigation of bankruptcy fraud and tax evasion. 

San Diego accountant and disbarred attorney J. Douglass Jennings, Jr., 72 of Rancho Santa Fe, pleaded guilty Monday to bankruptcy fraud and tax evasion, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Doug Jennings listed himself on LinkedIn as President of Jennings Financial Group, Inc. He was once described as handling over 10,000 trusts in a local magazine's list of wealth managers. 

Jennings filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition in January 2010.

However, Jennings failed to include nearly $1.5 million in assets including stock, the yacht “Sea Eagle” and antique silver items, according to federal prosecutors.

Prosecutors said Jennings also collected more than $183,000 in salary. 

Jennings owed the IRS $2,852,545 in tax payments for years 2005 through 2009, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. He had agreed to pay more than $2 million of the amount due as well as more than $1 million in interest. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Jennings evaded payment of taxes through his concealment of assets in the bankruptcy case. 

“Mr. Jennings’ attempt to discharge nearly $6 million of tax debt through a fraudulent bankruptcy filing was a theft from the American public," IRS Criminal Investigation’s Special Agent in Charge R. Damon Rowe said in a news release.

Jennings was disbarred in May 2016 and is prohibited from practicing law in the state of California. He will be sentenced in December. 

His wife Peggy Jennings, 72, pleaded guilty on August 16 to bank fraud for signing her mother's signature on loan documents and moving money into her mother's bank account to give the appearance that her mother had substantial income, according to prosecutors. 

Peggy Jennings has agreed to pay more than $145,000 in restitution and a $50,000 fine. She's scheduled to be sentenced in November.

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