Temporary suspension for attorney from cases of bankruptcy

Chesson ordered to pay $5,000 fine for claims of impersonation

Local attorney Christian D. Chesson has received a 90-day suspension from practicing in bankruptcy court after a judge issued a ruling that comes after a civil trial against Chesson and his firm regarding the handling of bankruptcy cases.

Although the trial was held months ago, the ruling, which came down Thursday, said there was a “pervasive scheme to impersonate debtors during credit counseling” which resulted in the filing of false pleadings, thereby committing a fraud upon the court.

At issue was the fact that a trustee for bankruptcy court contended that Chesson and his staff filed false credit counseling verifications in 11 cases.

The trustee, Henry G. Hobbs Jr., said in the court filings that during a period of July 25, 2014, through April 8, 2016, Chesson’s staff “impersonated individual debtors during telephone and online credit counseling briefings, and then prepared and filed credit counseling verifications that falsely stated the debtors had completed the briefing prior to filing their cases.”

According to the trustee, the debtors in those 11 cases were not present when the credit counseling briefings occurred. The trustee presented testimony from debtors in each of the 11 cases stating that they did not participate in a credit counseling briefing prior to filing their bankruptcy cases.

Three of Chesson’s former employees testified that they completed the credit counseling briefings for the debtors without any involvement by the debtors prior to the filing of their cases.

Chesson and fellow defendants denied that the staff impersonated debtors and have suggested that the testimony of former clients was influenced by other lawyers who they say are their competitors.

In addition to the suspension, punishment for Chesson includes a $5,000 fine, an order to return funds from some of his clients, and a remedial plan.

The judge also recommended that Chesson be barred from state district court for a one-year period but there has been no action on that recommendation.

Chesson’s attorneys could appeal the ruling regarding his handling of bankruptcy cases but had not as of press time on Friday.

””

Christian D. Chesson, attorney

Local News

Mayor gives two-year post-Hurricane Laura update

Local News

$3M more in FEMA money to be dedicated to Iowa, LaGrange high school repairs

Local News

Allen Parish a top district for one-year growth on LEAP test

Local News

OLQH students gather for long-standing tradition

life

Monica Smith’s teaching career began with Tiny Steps

Local News

Pro Watercross: National championships return to LC this weekend

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:What’s latest on our voting?

Crime

LaGrange student arrested for bringing gun to school

life

Mom’s school lunches look complicated, but they’re not

Local News

Entergy customers will pay $3.2 billion to reimburse company for repair costs

Local News

United Way to open Entergy Utility Assistance Program Wednesday

Local News

Low potential for tropical cyclone development in southwest Gulf

Crime

8/16: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Elton water services to be shut off at 4 p.m. today

Crime

Sheriff: Teenager shot during Kinder back-to-school party

Crime

8/15: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Crime

LC man charged in Saturday shooting

Local News

Feds oppose unsealing affidavit for Mar-a-Lago warrant

Crime

BREAKING: Mother charged with murder after 6-month-old left in car five hours

Local News

LAPAW in dire need of fosters, donations

Local News

Voting machine debate: Conspiracies question integrity of elections

Local News

Heart for volunteerism at core of Care Help for 40 years

Local News

Impairment, speed suspected in fatal crash

Crime

8/14: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list