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White v. Keely

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

February 29, 2016

CHRISTOPHER PAUL WHITE AND REFFCO II, L.P., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
GEORGE KEELY, JOYCE MORRIS, TRICIA RAKE, TERRY SCOTT, AND MICHAEL MAURER, Defendants-Appellees

Argued January 6, 2016

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. No. 1:14-cv-00471-TWP-DML -- Tanya Walton Pratt, Judge.

AFFIRMED; SANCTIONS ORDERED.

For CHRISTOPHER P. WHITE, REFFCO II, L.P., Plaintiff - Appellant: Christopher Hagenow, Attorney, BLACKWELL, BURKE & RAMSEY, P.C., Indianapolis, IN.

For GEORGE E. KEELY, JOYCE MORRIS, TRICIA RAKE, TERRY SCOTT, MICHAEL MAURER, Defendant - Appellee: R. Brock Jordan, Attorney, DENSBORN BLACHLY LLP, Indianapolis, IN.

Before POSNER and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges, and PALLMEYER, District Judge.[*]

OPINION

Page 884

Pallmeyer, District Judge.

Plaintiffs-appellants Christopher White and his company Reffco II, L.P. (collectively, " White" )[1] filed suit against several current and former officers of the National Bank of Indianapolis (" NBI Employees" ) pursuant to the Federal Reserve Act, 12 U.S.C. § 503. That statute establishes civil liability for bank officers and directors

Page 885

who violate certain substantive provisions of the Federal Reserve Act and the False Entry Statute. White's complaint alleges that the NBI Employees violated the False Entry Statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1005, by falsifying official bank reports in order to cover up unauthorized transfers made from White's business accounts at the National Bank of Indianapolis (" NBI" ). White claims these § 1005 violations caused him to suffer harm and that the NBI Employees are liable to him pursuant to 12 U.S.C. § 503. The district court dismissed White's complaint for failure to allege that he relied on the false statements, and White timely appeals that decision. The NBI Employees contend the appeal is frivolous and have asked for an award of sanctions pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 38. Because White has not pleaded that he was harmed as a consequence of the alleged § 1005 violations, we affirm the district court's dismissal of White's complaint. We further agree with defendants-appellees that White's appeal is frivolous, and therefore grant their motion for sanctions.

I

At all relevant times, White was the sole shareholder and president of Reffco II, LLP. White was also a principal of HPT, LLC (" HPT" ), a Nevada limited liability company, and a general partner and president of Premier Properties USA, Inc. (" Premier" ), an Indiana corporation. White maintained accounts for all three companies at NBI, a member bank of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (" FDIC" ). Premier's NBI account had the sole purpose of paying the company's employee payroll; all of Premier's other expenses were paid from Reffco's account at NBI.

In addition to the accounts at NBI, White maintained a checking account for HPT at J.P. Morgan Chase Bank (" Chase Bank" ). On January 30, 2008, White signed a check from HPT's account at Chase Bank payable to Premier in the amount of $500,000. Later that day, Premier endorsed the check to Reffco, and White deposited the check ...


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