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Andrews v. Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

May 29, 2018

Priscilla Annette Andrews (16-2383); Stanley Richard Kozlowski III (16-2680),, Debtors-Appellants,
v.
Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, Creditor-Appellee.

          Argued: June 22, 2017

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan at Ann Arbor. No. 5:15-cv-13681-John Corbett O'Meara, District Judge.

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit. No. 2:16-cv-11323-Paul D. Borman, District Judge.

         ARGUED:

          Brian A. Rookard, GUDEMAN & ASSOCIATES, PC, Royal Oak, Michigan, for Appellants.

          Zachary A. Risk, OFFICE OF THE MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL, Detroit, Michigan, for Appellee.

         ON BRIEF:

          Brian A. Rookard, GUDEMAN & ASSOCIATES, PC, Royal Oak, Michigan, for Appellants.

          Zachary A. Risk, OFFICE OF THE MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL, Detroit, Michigan, for Appellee.

          Before: SILER, McKEAGUE, and WHITE, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

          SILER, Circuit Judge.

          These two cases, consolidated for oral argument, present the same question regarding whether a penalty assessed by a governmental unit against the debtor due to fraud is dischargeable in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding. In both cases, the debtors fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits from the state of Michigan, and after determining these benefits were wrongfully paid, Michigan assessed a penalty. The debtors argue that the penalties assessed are dischargeable in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In each case, the district court disagreed, finding the penalties to be nondischargeable. We affirm the decisions below because the penalties are nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2).

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         I. Andrews v. Michigan Unemployment Insurance ...


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