United States v Channon and Channon

The Channons appealed their wire fraud convictions and the forfeiture order. The panel affirmed the conviction and remanded the order. It held there was no error in admitting two spreadsheets of transactions between accounts of the Channons and Office Max as they were either not hearsay because machines generate all the underlying information and the sheets or the sheets were business records generated into a different form and thus admissible. It remanded the forfeiture order to allow the government to present evidence to seek to meet the burden of proof required by the new unites states supreme Court Honeycutt decision.

Modoc Lassen Indian Housing Authority v United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Department appealed the district court order to repay certain grant funds recaptured from Authority and several other Indian housing authorities. The panel with each judge issuing an opinion ultimately reversed n part and remanded. All three judges agreed that under 25 USC 4165 there was no need for a hearing before doing the recapture as the size of the housing stock is not required to be reported and a determination that funds are wrongly received is not a finding that an Indian tribe wrongfully spent the money and a 2008 amendment to 25 USC 4161 clarifies failure to accurately report unit count does not trigger a hearing requirement. Moritz and Matheson held that because 4161 and 4165 did not apply here and the grant program at issue was not a standard contract between the government and a private party, Department lacked the power to do the offset here. However, Moritz and Bacharach held that the order had to be reversed to the extent it ordered Department to pay Authority and other plaintiffs money from future appropriations as sovereign immunity bars such awards in these circumstances and remanded to determine if any funds actually recaptured remain available for specific relief. Matheson dissented from the sovereign immunity holding arguing that Authority is seeking specific relief of being paid what was due under the grant program not substitute relief and thus the ban on money damages wards is inapplicable but remand was required to ascertain if  any money actually appropriated were available for Authority. Bacharach dissented from the lack of power holding arguing that the federal government has common law power to recoup wrongly distributed funds and the statute of which 4161 and 4165 are a part impliedly incorporated that power and thus Department acted lawfully here.

Michael Leathers v Roland Leathers and internal revenue Service; Michael Leathers v Roland Leathers et al., and Holden (Izen attorney and movant)

Roland appealed several judgments in these cases concerning mineral rights to certain Kansas property and tax liens against Roland and Holden and Izen also appealed. The panel affirmed. It held the Kansas district court had jurisdiction over the initial suit as Michael alleged ownership of the mineral rights in question and Roldan made counterclaims and cross claims both of which create standing. It held the federal district court had jurisdiction under 28 USC 1444 and 2410 and there was no state judgment and neither claim preclusion or Rooker-Feldman applied. It Roland’s argument that Izen had a conflict of interest was inadequately briefed and was not raised below and thus declined to consider it. I also held the challenge to the limits on an unjust enrichment claim was inadequately briefed and Roland had assigned the claim and thus could not raise the argument. As to the Holden/Izen appeal, the panel held that the district court properly awarded Roland’s ex-wife half of his interest under a divorce decree as the interest was in fact transferred to Roland before the divorce given the mutual mistake in the deed between Roland and Michael which conveyed all the mineral rights to Michael contrary to the parties’ intent and the reformation here went back to the date of the deed. It held there was no error in the district court’s determination that Holden and Roland’s conversation claim was time barred as the limitation period ran without the need for a demand, as Michael’s possession and use of the royalty payments at issue were never lawful. It affirmed the district court ruling that Roland’s transfer of the mineral interests to a trust was fraudulent as the argument was correctly considered as it was a theory in support of the government’s first priority argument in the pretrial order and Holden had two years notice about the fraudulent transfer theory and briefed absent it at least twice in response to pretrial motions and the finding of fraudulent transfer was supported by the deposition testimony of Holden and Roldan that the trust as created to protect the mineral interests form the IRS. It finally affirmed on Izen’s challenge to the amount of attorney fees warded to him holding Roland never entered a contingency fee agreement with Izen and noted Izen did not challenge the district court’s limits of the fee ward to those actually spent getting the mineral rights titled in Roland and excluding those incurred fighting the tax lien.