United States v. Mazzeo – Case Brief Summary (Federal Court)

In United States v. Mazzeo, 306 F. Supp. 2d 294 (E.D.N.Y. 2004), the government, a creditor of an insolvent husband, sued the wife alleging, inter alia, that the husband's transfers of assets to her, including monies spent to improve their homes, were constructive fraudulent conveyances.

The husband and wife were living in an intact family. The wife took the position that there was fair consideration for the transfers because the husband had a legal duty of spousal support that was the equivalent of an antecedent debt; that is, he owed her a duty of support, and that duty arose before the insolvency.

The court rejected that argument, holding that there was "no basis under New York law to conclude that a husband owes an antecedent debt for the purposes of the New York statute's definition of fair consideration solely based on the existence of a marital relationship." Id. at 309.