PORTLAND — A Saco woman pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Portland Wednesday, Nov. 16 to committing bankruptcy fraud, U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee announced.

Christina Q. Shea, 45, faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine along with three years of supervised release following her prison sentence.

Prosecutors said Shea used her husband’s identity to file for bankruptcy after she had earlier been barred from filing for a specific period.

Had the case proceeded to trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew K. Lizotte wrote in court documents, the government would have established that the bankruptcy filings followed a period of time when Shea failed to make required mortgage payments on the home she shared with her husband in Saco. On Nov. 7, 2017, a judgement of sale and foreclosure was entered in favor of the mortgage lender. The judgement ordered the defendant and her spouse to pay the total amount owed within 90 days, or the lender would sell the property. According to the courts, the payment was not made.

Shea had been a member of the Saco School Board, elected in July 2020 to fill a partial term. Shea resigned on Sept. 3, 2021, “due to some unanticipated and deeply personal circumstances,” she told the school board at the time.

Lizotte wrote that Shea filed a series of four bankruptcies in her own name at the U.S Bankruptcy Court in Portland from 2018 to 2020 and made a later filing in her husband’s name. Such filings trigger an automatic stay, prohibiting creditors from taking action — her desired result, the prosecutor noted. All four bankruptcy filings Shea made in her name were dismissed by the court — the last because she was barred from filing for one year.


In April 2020, prosecutors said Shea used the name and other identifying information of her husband, like his Social Security number and employment information without his permission, and initiated a bankruptcy filing in his name. According to Lizotte, she did so to prevent the sale and collection efforts of the mortgage lender. Prosecutors said Shea used a cellphone to create an email account and registered it in the name of her spouse, used it to file bankruptcy papers, and signed his name to a Western Union money order she used to pay court filing fees. The court documents state Shea later posed as her spouse while taking an online credit counseling course.

Shea will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office and was released on personal recognizance. Conditions of her release include that she report to U.S. Probation and Pre-Trial Services as directed. A sentencing date has not been set.

The FBI investigated the case.

Shea is represented by Attorney Heather Gonzales of the Public Defender’s Office.

Shea agreed to plead guilty to the federal charge in late August. The case  was unsealed on Nov. 16, the day she made her initial court appearance.

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