Clarke v. Rogers - 228 U.S. 534 (1913)
U.S. Supreme Court
Clarke v. Rogers, 228 U.S. 534 (1913)
Clarke v. Rogers
Argued April 16, 17, 1913
Decided May 5, 1913
228 U.S. 534
The same person, considered in different capacities, may act as the giver and receiver of a fraudulent preference, and so held in a case where a trustee of several trusts, with knowledge of his insolvency, transferred property to one of the trusts to which he was indebted. See Bush v. Moore, 133 Mass. 192.
The obligation resting on a defaulting testamentary trustee to restore the value of the assets embezzled is of a contractual character and the debt is provable although it is fraudulent and excepted from the discharge. Under the laws of Massachusetts, there may be a contractual obligation of one trust to another for payments improperly made from assets of the latter for the benefit of the former. Bremer v. Williams, 210 Mass. 256.
Section 17 of the Bankruptcy Act enumerates debts provable under § 63a which are not discharged, and among them are included those that arise by the conversion of trust funds. Equality between creditors is necessarily the ultimate aim of the Bankruptcy
Act, and even if the dividend be very mall, the court will not construe the act so as to allow one creditor to be preferred above the others.
There may be unity of the person and differences in capacities, but such unity imputes knowledge of the purpose for which the different capacities were exercised.
183 F. 518 affirmed.
The facts, which involve the provisions of the Bankruptcy Act in regard to preferences and provable debts, are stated in the opinion.