No. The bankruptcy "automatic stay" does not stop you from being prosecuted for crimes, like theft. 11 U.S.C. Sec. 362(b)(1).

You can be prosecuted, for example, for continuing to receive unemployment benefits after you have gone back to work, and not informing the Texas Workforce Commission that you have gone back to work.

You could be prosecuted for theft for this, or even a federal crime like mail fraud, if the mails were used in the commission of the crime.

Of course, if it was the government's mistake, or just inadvertence and you had no intention of defrauding the government, and can repay the funds immediately, you may be able to avoid any criminal trouble. In fact we have successfully discharged overpayments in bankruptcy many times.

But if a criminal charge is filed against you, the filing of a bankruptcy won't stop it.

J Thomas Black
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Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization