(Reuters) – A U.S. bankruptcy decide on Tuesday held New York real estate lawyer Mitchell Kossoff in civil contempt and stated he’ll search to have him incarcerated for defying court docket orders to cooperate with the Chapter 7 trustee overseeing the dissolution of his defunct regulation agency.
Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Jones in Manhattan stated Kossoff can keep away from jail and purge the contempt order if he turns over paperwork, together with a listing of collectors and private monetary data, to Al Togut, the Chapter 7 trustee overseeing the estate of Kossoff PLLC.
Kossoff “simply has not diligently attempted to comply nor has he taken steps to do so,” Jones stated throughout a listening to.
Whether or not or not he complies, Kossoff stays free till Jones’ findings may be affirmed by a U.S. district decide, permitting the bankruptcy court docket to concern a bench warrant. Kossoff may even have a chance to contest his findings on the district court docket, Jones stated.
If the district court docket affirms his findings shortly, Jones stated he wouldn’t concern a bench warrant for Kossoff’s arrest in the course of the subsequent seven days.
“I believe no order short of incarceration is sufficiently likely to induce compliance by Mr. Kossoff,” Jones stated. He famous that Kossoff has been ordered to present the supplies to Togut for months.
Togut sought the civil contempt discovering earlier this month. He declined to remark.
Kossoff PLLC was pressured into bankruptcy in Might after collectors claimed it misappropriated greater than $8 million from its escrow accounts.
Kossoff, as soon as a fixture of the New York real estate market, is reportedly underneath investigation by the Manhattan district legal professional. Meaning offering data to Togut would waive his fifth Modification rights, his protection lawyer Walter Mack has repeatedly argued, unsuccessfully.
Throughout Tuesday’s listening to, Mack stated he and Kossoff would submit paperwork to Togut, however he signaled they’d not be full. “We are prepared to file something. You’re not going to happy about them,” he stated.
The case is In re Kossoff PLLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Courtroom for the Southern District of New York, No. 21-10699.
For Togut: Neil Berger, Brian Shaughnessy and Minta Nester of Togut, Segal & Segal
For Kossoff: Walter Mack of Doar Rieck Kaley & Mack
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David Thomas stories on the enterprise of regulation, together with regulation agency technique, hiring, mergers and litigation. He’s based mostly out of Chicago. He may be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.