Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Husain

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

August 8, 2017

In the Matter of: Al-Haroon B. Husain, Appellant.

          Argued March 27, 2017

         Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.

          Before Bauer and Easterbrook, Circuit Judges, and DeGuilio, District Judge [*]

          Easterbrook, Circuit Judge.

         The Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois disbarred Al-Haroon B. Husain. (The court called the step "permanent suspension, " which is disbarment by another name.) The United States Trustee began the proceeding by alleging that Husain's filings regularly failed to include debtors' genuine signatures. The full bench assigned the disciplinary proceeding to Bankruptcy Judge Cox, who held a lengthy hearing and made extensive findings. In re Husain, 533 B.R. 658 (N.D. 111. 2015). In addition to disbarring Husain, Judge Cox also ordered him to refund fees he had collected from 18 clients. When he did not do so, Judge Cox held him in contempt of court.

         Husain appealed both the disbarment and the contempt finding to the district court. It assigned both appeals to the court's five-member Executive Committee, which handles the court's disciplinary proceedings. The Executive Committee affirmed the order disbarring Husain but dismissed the appeal from the order holding Husain in contempt. Unfortunately, the Executive Committee did not transfer the contempt appeal to a single judge. Yet 28 U.S.C. §158(a) entitles Husain to review by at least one district judge. We therefore remand the contempt appeal to the district court for assignment to, and decision by, a single judge. The disbarment issue, by contrast, is ready for decision by this court.

         The bankruptcy court found that Husain as a matter of routine:

• Signed clients' names to documents that the debtors must verify under penalty of perjury. See 28 U.S.C. §1746; Fed.R.Bankr.P. 1008. The signatures purported to be the debtors' own; Husain did not indicate that someone else was signing for the debtors.
• Copied and reused clients' signatures, so that they appeared to have signed documents they had not seen.
• Applied these forged or copied signatures to documents that did not reveal all of the debtors' assets, and which the debtors would not have signed had they seen the documents before they were submitted to the court.
• Submitted petitions and other documents on behalf of ineligible debtors (including one Husain knew lives in Bulgaria rather than Illinois, where Husain's multiple filings said he lives).
• Submitted documents that through statistical improbability could not have been honest. For example, in a sample of 110 of Husain's cases examined by the U.S. Trustee, schedules in 106 reported that the debtor had exactly $200 in cash, and in 93 of these 106 the schedules reported exactly $600 worth of household goods and $200 worth of clothing. Husain testified that these numbers had been furnished by his clients without his prompting; Judge Cox found him not credible.
• Submitted documents that omitted material assets. For example, the court found that the bankruptcy papers Husain filed (and signed) for Mirza and Sakeena Baig omitted two pieces of real property, three motor vehicles, a bank account, a whole-life insurance policy, and a retirement account, even though the Baigs had told him about those assets. 533 B.R. at 670.
• Lied on the stand during the hearing (the judge five times wrote that Husain was "incredible, " once that he was "not credible, " and once that he made a "false statement"). Under oath, Husain denied many of the facts described above; the judge did not believe him, and documentary evidence ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.