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United States v. Bankas

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
717 F.3d 637 (2018)


Facts

Ernest Bankas (defendant) pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining student loans while earning three master’s degrees, a doctorate, and a law degree. The court sentenced him to two years in prison and ordered him to pay $340,810 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Education under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act. After his release, the court garnished royalty income Bankas earned from a book. Four years later, the government found Bankas working as a health aide for at least $630 every two weeks and garnished that income as well. Bankas objected and filed a form requesting a hearing on financial hardship grounds, claiming child support and child-care exemptions for his five children—who were already over eighteen. The judge denied a hearing but held a telephone status conference and told Bankas he could not exempt those expenses and that no exemption exists for financial hardship alone. Bankas appealed, arguing that denying a hearing violated due process and that the garnishment calculations improperly reflected fluctuations in his pay, which increased just before garnishment began.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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