Conrad O’Brien’s attorneys serve as or represent court-appointed federal and state receivers in actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and other government enforcement agencies to recover assets used to compensate nationwide victims of Ponzi schemes and other frauds.
In these highly complex cases, the court-appointed equity receiver is charged by the court to marshal, pursue, preserve, and maximize the recovery of receivership assets. Often this involves significant third-party litigation, clawback procedures, and court-approved settlements.
Conrad O’Brien’s Louis C. Bechtle (a Chief Judge Emeritus of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania) was the court-appointed receiver, with Conrad O’Brien acting as lead counsel, in an SEC enforcement action against the operator of a Ponzi-like scheme who stole tens of millions of dollars from investors in hedge funds he managed. This matter involved several litigations and claims against dozens of persons and entities, including but not limited to company insiders, investors, professional firms, brokers, nonprofit organizations, and political organizations. Through distributions of much of the recovered funds, we have recovered and restored to innocent investors more than 80% of the losses suffered. The receivership was recently closed and converted to a liquidating trust with Conrad O’Brien partner Kevin Kent serving as the liquidating trustee for certain illiquid assets that continue to be maintained for the potential benefit of victims.
Conrad O’Brien’s Patricia Hamill serves as the court-appointed receiver, with Conrad O’Brien attorney Kevin Kent acting as lead counsel, in an FTC action against entities in the technical support services industry alleged to have misrepresented their services to tens of thousands of customers who paid them at least $17.9 million. As receiver, Patricia was tasked with taking control of the business operations of corporate defendants, securing two separate physical locations, several virtual offices, and numerous financial accounts, websites, and phone numbers. She continues to preserve and administer the assets of the receivership estate.
Represented a federally-appointed receiver in an enforcement action brought by the federal government in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against a third-party payment processing company and its principals (who were alleged to have facilitated a nationwide fraudulent telemarketing scheme). Conrad O’Brien attorneys recovered over $1 million from a national bank to fund a Consumer Restitution Program for victims of the fraud. Our efforts against the bank uncovered information that launched further government action, resulting in the recovery of more than $150 million to fund a full restitution program for the victims.
Conrad O’Brien’s Patricia Hamill serves as the court-appointed receiver, with Conrad O’Brien attorneys acting as lead counsel, in an action brought by the FTC in the Western District of New York against entities and individuals in the debt collections industry found to be conducting business in violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and related state statutes. The FTC determined that in excess of $8 million was collected from consumers using unlawful practices. Patricia and her counsel worked in conjunction with the government to assess the nature of the defendants’ practices; halt all collection activities; manage the defendants’ remaining operations; handle a variety of employment, payroll, and tax issues; collect, analyze, and respond to a variety of claims made against the defendants; and worked with forensic accountants to recover and maximize the assets of the receivership.
Represented the receiver in an enforcement action brought by the FTC in the Northern District of Illinois against a number of related telemarketing businesses alleged to have been involved in the marketing of fraudulent credit cards. The case settled with the defendant business operators for more than $7.5 million, providing nearly 100% restitution to the victims.