Memorandum of Decision Re: Denial of Discharge

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Decisions
IN THE UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
In re RICHARD E. JOHNSON,                                                         No. 95-11529
       Debtor. ___________________________/ STEPHANIE J. CASEY,        Plaintiff,      v.                                                                                               A.P. No. 95-1260 RICHARD E. JOHNSON,        Defendant. ______________________________/
Memorandum of Decision
     Between the time plaintiff Stephanie Casey obtained a state court judgment against him and the time he filed his Chapter 7 petition, debtor and defendant Richard Johnson obtained $105,000.00 in loan proceeds, about $40,000.00 from the sale of business assets, and several thousand dollars in credit card cash advances. Johnson alleges that he spent all of the money on travel, alcohol, gambling, and prostitutes. In this adversary proceeding, Casey objects to his discharge pursuant to sections 727(a)(3) and (5) of the Bankruptcy Code.      The court believes little of Johnson's testimony. He claims many trips to Nevada, but can document only a few. At least one of his claimed cruises never happened. The court finds it more likely than not that Johnson still has a portion of the unaccounted-for funds.      While Johnson's health is poor, his medical condition did not keep him from maintaining adequate records. His reason for not having any records is that "If I saved all my records I'd have a houseful of garbage." Johnson should have kept that "garbage" if he expected the court to believe his story. It appears that Johnson had extensive legal advice during the time in question, and engaged in considerable pre-bankruptcy planning. The court does not buy his story that he had the records but threw them out.      Courts have consistently held that vague and unsubstantiated claims of gambling losses do not satisfactorily explain loss of assets so as to preserve a right to discharge. In re Dolin, 799 F.2d 251 (6th Cir.1986); Matter of Reed, 700 F.2d 986, 993 (5th Cir. 1983); In re Wilch, 157 B.R. 342, 345 (Bkrtcy.N.D.Ohio 1993); In re Burns, 133 B.R. 181, 185 (Bkrtcy.W.D.Pa.1991); In re McMahon, 116 B.R. 857, 861 (Bkrtcy.M.D.Fla.1990); etc., etc.      The court finds that Johnson's explanations are not satisfactory, and judgment will accordingly be entered denying his discharge. Casey shall recover her costs of suit.      This memorandum constitutes the court's findings and conclusions pursuant to FRCP 52(a) and FRBP 7052. Counsel for plaintiff shall submit an appropriate form of judgment forthwith.
Dated: August 8, 1996                                               _______________________                                                                                         Alan Jaroslovsky                                                                                         U.S. Bankruptcy