Memorandum of Decision Re: Denial of Discharge

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UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
In re SCOTT ALAN SWANSON,                                       No. 98-13441      Debtor(s). ______________________________________/ CHARLES SIMS, Trustee,      Plaintiff(s),    v.                                                                               A.P. No. 98-1273 SCOTT ALAN SWANSON,      Defendant(s). _______________________________________/
Memorandum of Decision
     In this adversary proceeding, the Chapter 7 trustee seeks to deny debtor Scott Swanson his discharge. For the reasons stated below, the discharge will be denied.      Swanson admitted that for a time just before his Chapter 7 filing on September 11, 1998, he gave his income checks to his live-in girlfriend, Jennifer Lorenzo, so that they would not be seized by judgment creditors. The court would deny the discharge on this ground alone. Section 727(a)(2)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code provides that the court shall not grant a discharge if, within one year of the filing of the petition, the debtor made a transfer with the intent to hinder his creditors. Not only did Swanson admit the transfer, he admitted the intent.      In addition, Swanson did not disclose in his schedules that there was some $3,700.00 of his money in Lorenzo's bank account when he filed his petition. He answered "none" when asked to list his cash on hand; "none" when asked to identify all bank accounts (even though his name was on the Lorenzo account); and "none" to transfers made out of the ordinary course of business within one year of the filing. All of these statements were knowingly and intentionally false, and made with the intent to conceal the funds from creditors and the trustee. Accordingly, Swanson's discharge is barred by § 727(a)(2)(B) and § 727(a)(4)(A).      At the time he filed his petition, Swanson was a defendant in a state court suit brought against him and Lorenzo and alleging that he had made fraudulent transfers to her. Despite this, Swanson answered "none" in his statement of affairs when asked to list all suits to which he was a party. Swanson asks the court to believe that he did not know about the suit, yet his attorney filed a pleading entitled "Notice of Bankruptcy" in the state court just seven days after he filed the schedules and statement of affairs. No amendment to the schedules was filed. The court finds it far more likely than not that Swanson intentionally omitted the lawsuit in order to keep its allegations from the trustee. This is further ground for denial of the discharge pursuant to § 727(a)(4)(A).      For the foregoing reasons, Swanson's discharge will be denied. The trustee shall recover costs of suit.      This memorandum constitutes the court's findings and conclusions pursuant to FRCP 52(a) and FRBP 7052. Counsel for the trustee shall submit an appropriate form of judgment forthwith.
Dated: October 27, 1999                                                                              ________________________________                                                                                                                      Alan Jaroslovsky                                                                                                                      U.S. Bankruptcy