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Nebraska Dep't of Health & Human Servs. Fin. & Support v. Christine Angela Palermo (In re Palermo), Ch. 7, BK07-80099-TJM, A07-8036-TJM (Mar. 23, 2009)

The debtor was a mental health provider who pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking for overbilling Medicaid. The state argued that the debt resulting from the overpayments was non-dischargeable under § 523(a)(2)(A). The bankruptcy court reviewed the collateral estoppel effect of the criminal conviction, in addition to the alleged overpayments for which there was no criminal or administrative ruling. The court found that the elements of the criminal conviction met the requirements of § 523(a)(2)(A) so that portion of the debt was excepted from discharge. As to the other overpayments, the court found that a trial was necessary in order to make factual findings regarding the debtor’s intent. If the state were to prevail, it would be entitled to actual and treble damages, as well as costs and attorneys fees, and those amounts would be non-dischargeable.

Monday, March 23, 2009
Judge Timothy J. Mahoney (Retired)