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Duff vs. Central Sleep

7th Circuit Court Seal

Duff v. Central Sleep Diagnostics, LLC
7 Cir. U.S. Court of Appeals Docket No. 13-3837 Opinion September 10, 2015

Original Claim
Investors in Central Sleep sued the company as well as Dachman, its promoter, and others. Their claims included fraud, the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), conversion, fraudulent conveyance, civil conspiracy, and securities fraud. Dachman was also singled out for fraudulent conduct; he spent stolen investor funds on a tattoo parlor, vacations, cruises, a new Land Rover, rare books, personal stock trading, and gambling. The Judge ordered Central Sleep into receivership and issued a stay against “all civil legal proceedings” involving Defendants.

Attorney Claim
Attorney Goodman had represented the Defendants and obtained a judgment for his unpaid legal fees. He submitted a claim to the Receiver for that amount; but also filed a lien on the proceeds of Dachmans’ separate State Court medical malpractice suit. Neither Goodman nor the Dachmans informed the Receiver or Judge about those proceedings. When the Receiver learned of the malpractice suit he immediately recovered the settlement proceeds and proposed a distribution plan. Goodman objected to the plan and argued that unlike the other creditors he was entitled him to full – rather than pro rata – payment.

Procedural History
The Judge offered Goodman the opportunity to post a bond to delay distribution pending appeal. Goodman did not post a bond. Accordingly the Judge approved the plan and the funds were distributed. Goodman appealed the decision and asked the Court of Appeals to overturn the approval of the plan and reopen the receivership so he could recover his full claim.

Opinion
The 7th Circuit denied Goodman’s appeal, affirmed the District Court Order, and granted the Receiver’s Motion for Sanctions against Goodman and his firm under Rule 38 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.

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