Opinions

The District of Northern Illinois offers a database of opinions for the years 1999 to 2013, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

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Chief Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar

In re Robert Wheatley
July 29, 2021

19 B 17777

Judge Deborah L. Thorne

21-07702

In re Aldo Mandile
April 23, 2021

20 B 04886

Judge Timothy A. Barnes

08bk10095
After a decision of this court confirming, on remand from an appeal of an earlier decision of this court and in light of the issues raised by the District Court, its earlier finding of violations of the release and injunction set forth in the debtor’s confirmed plan of reorganization and awarding actual damages in relation thereto, and after a motion seeking an augmented award of damages in relation to ongoing violations, held:  While the request goes beyond the mandate from the District Court, the court nonetheless has jurisdiction to hear it.  The request is, however, improvident in light of the pending, second appeal and uncertain application of the court’s earlier stay pending appeal and related bond.  The movant has failed to convince the court that an award of supplemental damages is appropriate at this time.  The motion for supplemental damages is, therefore, DENIED without prejudice.  The underlying motion remains granted according to its terms and the court’s decision on remand, pending the outcome of the presently pending second appeal.

Judge David D. Cleary

18 B 35437, 19 A 1009
Creditor sought denial of Debtor/Defendant’s discharge under 11 U.S.C. §§ 727(a)(2), (a)(3) and (a)(4).  Following trial, court found Debtor intended to defraud his creditors when he gave proceeds from a workers’ compensation claim to his brother, who then returned the money in cash payments.  Judgment entered for the creditor under § 727(a)(2).  However, Debtor’s lack of extensive financial records was justified under all the circumstances of the case, and he did not make false oaths with intent to defraud.  Judgment entered for the Debtor under §§ 727(a)(3) and (a)(4).

Judge Janet S. Baer

15 B 27967, 16 A 00489
Plaintiff PNC Bank, N.A. (“PNC”) filed an adversary complaint against Paul L. Leongas (the “Debtor”), seeking a denial of the Debtor’s discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 727(a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4)(A), (a)(4)(D), and (a)(6). PNC argued that the Debtor was not entitled to a discharge because he engaged in a continuing course of actions in which he intentionally concealed his income and assets in order to defraud his creditors, failed to produce required financial information, and knowingly and fraudulently made false oaths and accounts in connection with his financial situation. After conducting an evidentiary hearing, the Court found, given the documentary evidence and testimony at trial, that the contributions made by businesses owned and operated by the Debtor’s family members to pay his living expenses were not loans and should have been disclosed on the Debtor’s schedule I as income; that his continued use of his residence—despite its transfer first to a childhood friend and later to others—constituted a concealment under the doctrine of continuing concealment; and that virtually all badges of fraud required for a determination that the Debtor intended to hinder, delay, and defraud his creditors had been established. As such, the Court concluded that the Debtor was not entitled to a discharge under § 727(a)(2). The Court also found that the Debtor failed to produce adequate records from which his financial situation and business transactions could be ascertained with any kind of accuracy; that he made “false oath[s] or account[s]” by filing bankruptcy documents with numerous misstatements and omissions, most of which were made with an intent to deceive; and that he knowingly and fraudulently failed to provide the chapter 7 trustee with all relevant documents and papers to which the trustee was entitled. Accordingly, the Court concluded that the Debtor was also not entitled to a discharge under §§ 727(a)(3), (a)(4)(A), and (a)(4)(D). The Court rejected the Debtor’s argument that he relied on the advice of his attorney—thereby negating any fraudulent intent—because the Debtor was not able to establish either that he provided all of the necessary financial disclosures to his lawyer or that his reliance on the lawyer’s advice was reasonable. The Court dismissed Count IV, under which PNC objected to discharge under § 727(a)(6)(A), for lack of prosecution.

Judge Jacqueline P. Cox

09 B 05868, 20 A 00399
This adversary proceeding is Debtor Richard Sharif’s latest attempt to undo a default judgment he caused to be entered in 2010 denying him a discharge and declaring a trust to be his alter ego, making it property of the bankruptcy estate.
He alleges that the Chapter 7 Trustee Horace Fox Jr., his attorneys, a child representative in his divorce case, his estranged wife and her former attorney are civilly liable to him for violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence for taking his trust and other property even though the interests in issue were declared to be property of the bankruptcy estate pursuant to a default judgment entered as a sanction for his failure to comply with his discovery obligations.
The case was filed in the District Court; it was transferred to this court.
The Amended Complaint has been dismissed with prejudice.

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