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American Express Travel Related Services Co. v. Hashemi

United States Appeals Court for the Ninth Circuit
104 F.3d 1122 (1996)


Facts

Dr. Hashemi (defendant) filed for bankruptcy after returning from a six-week trip to Europe with his family. Hashemi alleged that the purpose of the trip was to ask his mother-in-law for funds relating to a condominium project in which Hashemi held a one-half ownership interest. Upon his return, Hashemi owed American Express Travel Related Services Co. (Amex) (plaintiff) more than $60,000 for close to 170 credit card charges, which included numerous purchases of expensive meals and luxuries. When the trip began, Hashemi owed more than $300,000 to other credit card companies but only $227 to Amex. He had carried balances exceeding $60,000 with Amex before but had never been in default. His annual income was less than $60,000. While Hashemi was in Europe, a second-mortgage holder for the condominium project commenced foreclosure proceedings. Amex petitioned the bankruptcy court to declare Hashemi’s debt to it nondischargeable on account of fraud pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A). The court granted Amex’s petition, and the district court affirmed the judgment on appeal. Hashemi again appealed, arguing that Amex had failed to prove intent to defraud, the making of a false representation, and justifiable reliance.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kozinski, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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