Geoff Winkler, as Receiver for Profit Connect Wealth Services, Inc. v. William Roshak, et al.  was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada on November 4, 2021 asserting claims for (1) fraudulent transfer; (2) unjust enrichment; (3) declaratory relief; and (4) attorneys’ fees and costs.

Plaintiff is the court-appointed receiver of Profit Connect Wealth Services, Inc. (“Profit Connect”) in an action titled Securities and Exchange Commission v. Profit Connect Wealth Services, Inc., et al., Case No. 21-cv-01298-JAD-BNW (D. Nev.) (the “SEC Action”). Plaintiff was appointed as the Receiver in that matter and granted broad authority to investigate claims and institute actions and legal proceedings on behalf of Profit Connect and its investors. This action is against Defendants William Roshak in his individual capacity and d/b/a/ William George Photography, Melissa Roshak, Tetiana Luzhanska, and Tina M. Leiss, in her sole capacity as the executive officer of the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada (“PERS”).


Continue Reading New Complaint – Winkler v. Roshak, et al.

Mills v. Trustmark National Bank, et al. was filed in the Southern District of Mississippi on August 19, 2021 by a receiver appointed on behalf of companies engaged in a scheme to defraud investors by producing false deeds for the purchase and sale of timber.

Plaintiff Alysson Mills (“Plaintiff”) is the Receiver for Arthur Adams (“Adams”) and his company turned Ponzi scheme Madison Timber Properties, LLC (“Madison Timber”).  The defendants are Trustmark Corporation d/b/a Trustmark National Bank (“Trustmark”), Southern Bancorp Bank (“Southern”), Riverhills Bank (“Riverhills”), Bennie Butts (“Butts”), and Jud Watkins (“Watkins”) (collectively, “Defendants”).  Butts and Watkins were employees of Trustmark and Riverhills during the alleged Ponzi scheme.


Continue Reading New Complaint – Mills v. Trustmark National Bank, et al.

The collapse of a Ponzi scheme usually follows a familiar pattern.  When the scheme is exposed, the company created by the schemer—which is usually little more than a sham entity—is placed into receivership or declares bankruptcy (or both).  A receiver or bankruptcy trustee is then tasked with recovering any funds belonging to the estate so that they may be distributed to creditors.  As part of this process, these court-appointed parties step into the shoes of the company and may bring any litigation that the company itself could have brought.  Bankruptcy trustees are also granted the exclusive right to bring “general claims” on behalf of the entities’ creditors.

This process creates a thorny question: who may seek recovery from a third party alleged to have been involved in the fraud?  Creditors that lent funds to sham companies often pursue claims against financial institutions that banked the schemers on aiding-and-abetting theories.  Yet receivers and trustees also often bring these claims, leading to duplicative litigation and the question of who properly “owns” the claim.

A recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota provides important guidance on this question.  Ritchie v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., No. 14-cv-04786, 2021 WL 2686079 (D. Minn. June 30, 2021) untangles who has standing to bring claims against a third party alleged to have aided and abetted a Ponzi scheme.  As the Court explains, “general” claims for loss of funds belong exclusively to court-appointed bankruptcy trustees.  Third parties may only bring particularized claims that arise from injuries “directly traceable” to the defendant’s conduct.  Ritchie thus serves as a touchstone in disputes over standing in Ponzi litigation.


Continue Reading Minnesota Court Untangles Who Owns What Claim in the Fallout of a Ponzi Scheme

Wiand v. ATC Brokers Ltd, et al. was filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, on May 28, 2021.  The complaint was filed by a Receiver appointed in an action brought by the Commodity Futures Trade Commission (the “CFTC”) alleging the operation of a Ponzi scheme.  The complaint alleges (1) aiding and abetting fraud, (2) aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duties, (3) gross negligence, and (4) simple negligence.  In addition, the complaint seeks to avoid alleged fraudulent transfers received by ATC Brokers Ltd.

Plaintiff is the court appointed Receiver over Oasis International Group, Limited, Oasis Management LLC, and Satellite Holdings Company (the “Oasis Entities”) in an action filed by the CFTC, titled Commodity Futures Trade Commission v. Oasis International Group, Limited, et al., Case No. 8:19-cv-00886-VMC-SPF (M.D. Fla. Apr. 15, 2019).  Defendants include: (1) ATC Brokers Ltd., the exchange firm the Ponzi scheme operators used to carry out the scheme; (2) Spotex LLC, the entity that provided the software used to carry out the Ponzi scheme; and (3) an owner of both entity Defendants.


Continue Reading New Complaint – Wiand as Receiver for Oasis International Group, Limited, et al. v. ATC Brokers Ltd, et al.