The opinion of the court was delivered by: HERLANDS
The attorneys and the accountants for the trustee have filed objections to the Report on Final Allowances submitted by Hon. John E. Joyce, Referee in Bankruptcy.
Harold P. Seligson, Esq. and George Zolotar, Esq., who have served up to the present as attorneys for the trustee, applied for an allowance of $ 7,500. The Referee allowed $ 4,000. The law firm of Krause, Hirsch, Gross & Heilpern, who formerly served as attorneys for the trustee from December 14, 1951 to August 4, 1953, applied for an allowance of $ 3,500. The Referee allowed $ 1,400. G. George Kogut & Co., accountants for the trustee, applied for an allowance of $ 4,250. The Referee allowed $ 3,200.
The attorneys and accountants now object to the Referee's Report for the asserted reasons (1) that the allowances are grossly inadequate and clearly erroneous and (2) that the report does not present detailed findings or reasons for the amount of compensation recommended.
The gross assets of the estate were $ 46,024.90. The net assets on hand are $ 27,934.94. If the Referee's recommendations with respect to said attorneys' and accountants' fees (totalling $ 8,600.) are approved, and if certain other concededly proper fees, expenses and disbursements (totalling $ 8,108.81) are deducted, the amount left for the general creditors would be $ 11,226.13. This would constitute a dividend of 14.833% to general creditors.
The present attorneys for the trustee, Messrs. Seligson and Zolotar, claim that they have spent 348 hours on the case and that their associates have devoted 137 hours to this matter, that is, a total of 485 hours. The work they performed for the trustee may be summarized as follows:
'(a) reviewed the work of the former attorneys for the trustee.
(b) after an investigation, discovered evidence of falsification of the bankrupt's books; and inquired into the criminal acts of the bankrupt's officers.
(c) instituted a plenary action against Manufacturers Trust Company and Samuel Breiter & Company for preferential transfers in the amount of $ 35,000. After intensive preparation and on the eve of trial, the case was settled for $ 10,000.
(d) instituted a plenary action against Commercial Trading Company for a preferential transfer in the amount of $ 16,262.40. After the case was prepared for trial, it was settled for $ 6,250.
(e) handled the sale of the name and good-will of the bankrupt for $ 150.
(f) checked 57 claims; and reduced priority claims by $ 2,545.62 and general claims by $ 1,779.96.
The law firm of Krause, Hirsch, Gross & Heilpern were attorneys for the trustee from December 14, 1951 to August 4, 1953. The following is a summary of their work:
(a) conferences with various creditors.
(b) examination of the corporation's books and records, and of ...