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Jones v. U.S. Trustee, Eugene

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

December 2, 2013

Jerry Alan JONES, Debtor, Appellant,
v.
U.S. TRUSTEE, EUGENE, Appellee.

Argued and Submitted Nov. 5, 2013.

Page 898

Keith D. Karnes (argued), Salem, OR, for Appellant.

Phyllis Rebecca Kamitsuka (argued), Trial Attorney, Office of the United States Trustee, Eugene, OR; Robert Joseph Schneider, Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., for Appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, Michael R. Hogan, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. 6:12-cv-00440-HO.

Before: MILAN D. SMITH, JR. and ANDREW D. HURWITZ, Circuit Judges, and JAMES C. MAHAN, District Judge.[*]

OPINION

M. SMITH, Circuit Judge:

This appeal poses the question of whether a fraud that would serve as grounds for denying a bankruptcy discharge if it were known at the time of the discharge can serve as grounds for the later revocation of that discharge. We conclude that it may, and we therefore affirm the judgment of the district court.

FACTS AND PRIOR PROCEEDINGS

On December 23, 2008, Appellant Jerry Alan Jones filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon. On January 16, 2009, Jones filed schedules of assets under penalty of perjury pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 521(a)(1)(B). During a February 6, 2009, meeting of creditors required by 11 U.S.C. § 341(a), Jones testified under oath as required by 11 U.S.C. § 343. On April 9, 2009, the bankruptcy court entered an order granting Jones a chapter 7 discharge of his debts.

Subsequent to the entry of the discharge order, the United States Trustee (Trustee) learned that Jones had misrepresented the value or existence of a number of assets in both the schedules Jones had filed and in the testimony he gave during the creditors meeting. Jones did not dispute that he omitted certain assets, but he claimed that the omission was due to inadvertence rather

Page 899

than fraud. The bankruptcy court disagreed, and found that Jones made false oaths in connection with his petition for discharge.

The Trustee moved to revoke Jones' discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(d)(1). In deciding the motion, the bankruptcy court looked to whether Jones' misrepresentations constituted a violation of 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(4)(A). Finding that the misrepresentations amounted to a violation of § 727(a)(4)(A), the bankruptcy court ...


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