Belsome denied, Zeek victims won’t pay 25% claim fee
This one’s been going on in the background for a while now but pending a resolution, I haven’t given it any airtime.
Long story short, back when the Zeek Rewards Receivership was accepting claims from victims, the folks over at Patrick Miller LLC saw an opportunity.
The law firm set up the “zeekrewardsclassaction.com” website and began soliciting its own claims from Zeek Rewards affiliates:
Great news, the time has come at last! Soon, the Receiver is going to announce a partial distribution of Affiliate funds and the claims process to go with it.
When the system goes live, or as soon thereafter as possible, we will be filing your claim for you and then fighting with the Receiver to get you as much money as we possibly can.
However, due to the sheer number of Affiliates, as well as the fact that many of you had multiple user names, you will receive at least one claims notice directly from the Receiver.
This is very important:
PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT A CLAIM ON YOUR OWN.
The reason Patrick Miller didn’t want Zeek victims filing their own claims is because they then wouldn’t get a cut of the claims paid out.
All in all some 739 Zeek investors filed claims through Patrick Miller. The firm put their own address on the submitted claims, with the intention that the Receivership send them victim’s checks.
Patrick Miller had hoped to collect as much as 25% of the victim’s payouts in legal fees, but the Receivership refused to deal with them.
Instead the Receivership demanded Patrick Miller provide the contact details of the victims they had signed on, so that the claim checks could be sent to the individuals themselves.
With thousands of dollars in easy money on the line, Patrick Miller objected through the filing of a “Notice of Attorney’s Charging Liens”.
After some further to and froing between the Receivership and Patrick Miller, yesterday saw Judge Mullen make a ruling on the dispute.
The Receiver’s Objection to Counsel’s Notice of Attorney’s Charging Lien and Request for Order in Aid of Distribution is SUSTAINED and GRANTED.
Plaintiff Jonny Belsome, et al.’s Notice of Attorney’s Charging Lien (Doc. No. 258) is hereby DENIED and STRICKEN from the Court’s docket
When the Receivership sent out the first round of claim checks to victims early last month, clients of Patrick Miller missed out. Pending resolution of the dispute with Patrick Miller, the Receivership set aside funds to cover claims filed by the firm.
Now that Patrick Miller’s attempts to secure a slice of victim payouts has been thwarted, those victims can expect their checks in the mail soon (the entire amounts payable).
Marc R. Michaud is ORDERED to immediately and without further delay provide the Receiver with all actual addresses of those Claimants whose Claims currently list the address of Patrick Miller LLC or any other address not related to such claimant.
Here’s to opportunistic lawyers getting what they deserve…
Footnote: Our thanks to Don @ ASDUpdates for providing a copy of Judge Mullen’s order.
Update 8th January 2015 – The decision discussed above was appealed by Belsome’s lawyers, and subsequently denied on the 7th of January by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
This court may exercise jurisdiction over final orders … the order the appellants seek to appeal is neither a final order nor an appealable interlocutory or collateral order.
I don’t believe the court will collect 25% lawyer fees for Patrick Miller lawfirm.
The lawyer fee is the core of the dispute. The Receiver refused to send the monies directly to the lawfirm, he would only allow payments directly to the net losers.
the lien has been ‘stricken and denied’ by the court , so i agree with norway , that the Receiver will NOT be holding back 25% fee for patrick miller LLC.
Yeah it’s gone. That’s why I wrote “sans”, as in it won’t be applied.
That’s why I wrote “sans”,
It was clear.
That’s why I wrote “sans”, as in it won’t be applied—–oz
OK , that ‘sans’ caused the confusion .
patrick miller LLC just collected some claimants under its umbrella BUT had no ‘role to play’ in the judgement that secured the distribution of funds to zeek victims. this may be why the court rejected their charging lien :
“It is not enough to support the imposition of a charging lien that an attorney has provided his services; the services must, in addition, produce a positive judgment or settlement for the client, since the lien will attach only to the tangible fruits of the services.”
I can see how it might be ubiquitous so I changed the wording :).
That may explain something, e.g. it may explain the repeated motion / appeal to lift the stay, and the arguing about technical details for how to interpret laws.
“Belsome et al v. Rex Venture Group LLC et al” was filed before a federal court in Lousiana on August 24 2012, one week after the shutdown of Zeek Rewards. The complaint was dated 2 days earlier, August 22 2012.
Cause of action: 15:78m(a) Securities Exchange Act.
———- Case history in parts ———-
Transferred FROM Lousiana December 3 2012 (Doc-41)
Transferred TO North Carolina December 4 2012 (Doc-42)
Stayed by North Carolina July 3 2013 (Doc-46)
Motion to lift stay July 11 2013 (Doc-47)
Partly lifted stay September 25 2013 (Doc-51)
Denied motion to lift stay December 30 2013 (Doc-56)
Appeal January 10 2014 (Doc-57, Doc-58, Doc-59)
Marc R. Michaud / Patrick Miller LLC never managed to get the case “off the ground” (if we compare it to an airplane). Their clients managed to recover funds without the lawfirm’s assistance, so the lawfirm was desperately trying to become more directly involved but without any success.
Anybody know how much Marc R. Michaud / Patrick Miller LLC is sans?
sans—–Without [ the free dictionary]
they are safely sans credibility . at least .
and sans money ,bucks ,banknote, bankroll and generally all things green.
[except around their gills : ) ]
I have the number of class action members, April 2013. “Johnny Belsome and 388 other individuals”.
CASE = SEC v. Rex Venture Group:
April 19 2013
ZeekDoc141-main.pdf – 389 class members
JOHNNY BELSOME, et al.’s OBJECTION TO MOTION FOR ORDER SEEKING APPROVAL OF CLAIMS PROCESS
If each retainer was due $1,000,000 Marc R. Michaud / Patrick Miller LLC would be sans $97,250,000. Which is way too much considering the lawfirm did not even produce a “positive judgment or settlement for the client.”
404 class members (estimated, I only counted pages #1, #2, #9)
Amount claimed total by his clients = $1,340,427.80
$1,340,427.80 * 40% * 25% = $134,000 in lawyer fees (max amount).
Gee, it’s not like lawyers to fleece people with unnecessary legal fees.
I guess they couldn’t find any ambulances to chase the day they came up with that scheme.
Thanks for computing that. I suppose the lawfirm still has a contractual claim for payment against their clients.
Get out the checkbooks ladies and gentlemen, or prepare to defend yourselves.
The lawfirm probably has a valid claim for some of the services, but it didn’t have a valid claim for charging liens.
If I had been one of the clients, I would most likely have accepted a reasonable fee for services rendered. One problem is that the lawfirm has delivered services I haven’t asked them to deliver. Some of those services don’t make much sense to me as a client.
“Belsome et al v. Rex Venture Group LLC et al” was initially filed before a Louisiana federal court as a class action lawsuit – as a method for the clients to recover more money faster by suing specific parties DIRECTLY, rather than having to wait for money to slowly be recovered by a receivership.
That plan didn’t work like it was intended to work, but the clients have still received SOME legal services, services they initially had asked for and had agreed to pay for.
If that was the case (and I’m not saying that it isn’t), then why fight so hard to have the checks mailed to the firm?
That’s all fine and well but they were not even parties to the action.
through various motions submitted in response to patrick miller LLC’s legal efforts to demand 25% of claimants refunds for ‘administrative expenses’, the receiver kenneth bell’s argument can be consolidated as such :
“the action” can be many different actions.
* Class action lawsuit “Belsome et al” = stayed
* Appeal to Fourth Circuit Court = denied
* assisting clients, filling out claims, updates etc.
“Very extended services”:
* Notice of Attorney’s Charging Liens = denied
The law firm asserted that proceeds due to their clients from the Receivership should be paid to the firm.
This would have permitted the firm to deduct its fees and costs first… before it forwarded a net check to its clients…in this way the law firm would have been ENSURED payment. Similarly, the requested attorney’s lien would have ensured the firm had first claim to client’s proceeds.
As it sits now the clients will receive the full distribution directly from the Receiver with no law firm acting as intermediary and with no lien attached. Thus, Michaud and Miller is forced to rely on their client’s good will and ability to pay if they are to collect any fees from them.
Should the client’s fail to pay as agreed Michaud and Miller would have to pursue each client individually under the terms of their Retainer Agreement. Given the recent ruling in District Court, the firm’s right to be paid seems in doubt.
In spite of the fact that Belsome and the “clients” were shown as movants in this action the underlying reality was that it wa a contest between Bell and Michaud & Miller.
What possible interest would Belsome et al have in arguing that the lawfirm could subtract fees from their proceeds for doing nothing? Belsome was being used, the clients were being used. Bell called Michaud/Miller on it and kicked their asses.
This is just absolute speculation on my part, but maybe there was talk of challenging the payouts. Otherwise yeah, makes little sense.
Marchaud and Miller was using Belsome’s entitlement to receive a distribution, to assert it’s right to collect fees from Belsome. That is all that was ever going on here as the filings show.
If Belsome et al want to pay Marchaud & Miller they are perfectly free to do so, but it is not the Receiver’s task to enforce the Retainer agreements. nor….. as the denial of the attroney’s lien shows….. is it the Court’s either.
the ruling by judge mullen does not consider whether patick miller LLC , has the ‘right to be paid’ for its services to its clients .
judge mullen has only considered bells arguments ie 1] it’s not bells job to act as bill collector for miller LLC and 2] bell is trying to preserve the integrity of the payments , by sending cheques directly to the claimant.
any contracts signed between miller LLC and it’s clients may still stand in my view , but it’s going to be such a bother for miller to pursue them.
Maybe so. The whole episode seems out of proportion. Belsome can contest the payout and he can consult an attorney, but his attorney can not enter Belsome’s information into the claims system, contest the payout directly or collect the payment on behalf of his client.
Its a very narrow portal.
You’re right it doesn’t, but it hardly substantiates a demand for fees either, and I am inclined to believe it does quite the opposite.
I believe we’re talking about two completely different things here.
The court has already denied and stricken the “Notice of Attorney’s charging liens”, so that part of the case should be clear. Patrick Miller LLC can’t collect a 25% lawyer fee from that source / using that method.
The 25% lawyer fee is related to the class action lawsuit, “Belsome et al v. Rex Venture Group LLC et al”. But the lawfirm seems to have 3 types of clients:
1. Initial action “Belsome et al” clients.
2. Extended services clients (claims process assistance).
3. Both types of services clients.
The Patrick Miller lawfirm may be entitled to payments from each of the individual clients for the “additional services” related to claims process assistance.
3 TYPES OF CLIENTS?
From zeekrewardsclassaction.com (front page):
Patrick Miller LLC is still accepting clients to the class action lawsuit “Belsome et al v. Rex Venture Group LLC et al”, AFTER the claims process has ended more than a year ago. So it has at least 2 types of clients, maybe 3 types.
That has nothing to do with the action at issue.
ok, so, My associate and I, own a consulting firm, that due to recent events, has shifted its efforts towards helping the near 150,000 Dominicans, most of whom have lost money in the Telexfree scheme, to properly fill out their Proof of Claim B10 form, for the Telexfree bankruptcy case 14-40987.
We have been making a tremendous effort since mid may, to inform the Dominican victims, that there is a legitimate way for them to recuperate lost funds, however long the process may be.
But sadly, my people do not yet have an education level that allows them to understand a bankruptcy processs, and with less than 9% of the population knowing the english language, this makes them the easy and vulnerable targets that they are for this sort of scheme; and now that they have lost evey penny they had (some their life saving, homes, vehicles and pension plans).
They are so dis-trustful, that they do not believe that the DoJ has actually seized the immediate assets of Telexfree, they refuse to believe that at some point, the united states governmet will actually see to them getting back those assets.
We have done press, radio, and television campaigns informing people about the bankruptcy process and the Proof of Claim B10 from, and yes, we have accomplished aiding and processing proof of claims for housands of victims, but in comparison to the (according to press releases), staggering 150,000 dominican victims, we are still but tapping the surface.
And this is due to the disbelief of these victims, that there is a real, controlled and supervised process in which, if they claim, they will be entitled to an eventual distribution.
we have managed to file claims for over 1000+ dominicans, and yes, we are charging them a % of the recovered money for this service.
am i looking at the same scenario as Mr. Michaud??
We are not charging liens, we will charge our fee directly from the clients. but YES we have filed ALL of those claims with the Firm’s address as the “payment to be sent to” address, because more than 90% of our claimants DO NOT have reachable addresses.
They DO NOT know the enligh language, they DO NOT have computer skills which renders them unable to navigate any kind of web-portal.
And most importantly 95% of the Dominicans who have filed a proof of claim, they have done it because WE HAVE CONVIVED THEM TO DO SO!!! all these people think that, that moneys long gone with the wind……
so, OZ, would i be looking at the same scenario as Patrick Miller? given our VERY different circumstances….
P.D: we have NEVER instructed people to “NOT FILE A CLAIM ON THEIR OWN” in the contrary, we explicitly tell them that our services are for those we need or want them, that they most certainly do not have to file their claim with our firm, but instead, we implore them that PLEASE, file a claim on your own or with some other assistance.
But FILE IT because if they don’t, the bankruptcy court will not give us the priority we deserve as the second largest affected country; that if we register the staggering number of Dominican victims, the trustee will not overlook us, and we will increase our chanced at recovery.
I think the firm will send them all a bill and go from there.
Bell and the Court have done all they can to protect those people but I don’t imagine any of them understand how or why. They are like babes in the woods.
If you’re hoping funds will be sent directly to you, then yes you are likely facing a similar scenario.
If you have agreements drawn up between your clients and the funds are sent to them, whether they pay you is up to them (or how far you’re willing to pursue the matter).
How much would you trust your clients to pay you after they receive a claim?
The legal issue in this case, is that the lawyers have placed a lien on payments from the SEC case based upon the fact that they have contingency agreements with their clients, but IN ANOTHER CASE that the receivership made moot and will never see a courtroom.
Yes, the result is the right one I think, but the legal reason it was tossed is because there is no law or rule of procedure that says you can file the lien from one case and then collect on another that happens to have your client as a beneficiary.
If they can do that, why not file a similar claim against the judgment I may be getting from suing the guy who hit my parked car?
If you look over a B10 form you will note that your firm may not be listed as the Creditor and you must disclose that you filed the form as the Creditor’s agent.
Your clients may receive their funds at any address you put on the form, BUT the check will NOT be made out to you, the agent, but to your client’s as the Creditor. How you collect your fee is up to you.
That is different than what Miller and Marchaud was trying to engineer, for they were trying to get the checks made out to themselves as agent.
You should probably analyse the current case (ZeekRewards / receivership / class action / etc.) in its most major aspects to avoid similar types of problems.
Patrick Miller LLC was initially trying to bypass the receivership by suing Paul Burks et al DIRECTLY (in a different court).
It later extended that plan to collect monies DIRECTLY from the receivership on behalf of its clients, acting in the role as a “paid middleman” between the receivership and the clients.
To understand that role (WHY there’s some conflicts), you will need to identify some of the background factors for BOTH cases (both “Appointment of a Temporary Receiver” and “Belsome et al”).
2 CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS
There’s 2 different class action lawsuits against RVG / Paul Burks / insiders. Both have been stayed.
* The Louisiana lawsuit “Belsome et al”, Patrick Miller LLC, initially filed in a federal court in Louisiana, later transferred to the North Carolina federal court. Stayed.
* The North Carolina lawsuit “Chavez et al”, J. Calvin Cunningham lawfirm, initially filed in a state court in NC, later designated to a “complex business case” court in the same district. It tried to sue Paul Burks et al DIRECTLY in an attempt to bypass the receivership. Stayed.
You have 2 lawfirms with failed ideas here. It may be worth looking at those 2 cases (a quick overview) to avoid similar problems. But you have a different role than they had, in a different case.
BELSOME ET AL
I had a quick look at the timeline for “Belsome et al” in post #8:
“Quick look” means I didn’t focus on any details, I only tried to identify SOME of the points in the “case history”.
That’s not a good idea (“convincing people”).
You have managed to convince some people who already were willing to believe in those ideas, but for all others it has most likely been an uphill battle. 🙂
The idea of “convincing people” doesn’t work very well. PEOPLE don’t work that way, i.e. you must look at how PEOPLE work (psychologically) to find a better method.
People already have SOME ideas about TelexFree, about the law system, about lawyers, about many other details. They have their OWN IDEAS, so they won’t easily accept YOUR IDEAS if your ideas don’t reflect their own ideas.
Try to get a quick look at the Confirmation Bias article, just to get the idea of how it will affect people.
For TelexFree, some promoters strongly believed in the idea of a life changing opportunity. Those people must first realize that TelexFree actually was a fraud before they will start looking for solutions to the current problem. Or there may be other ideas they must accept first.
It means you must know something about the victims’ ideas before you successfully can get them interested in looking at your ideas.
* They must be “ready” for your ideas. They must knowingly or unknowingly be looking for what you have to offer. And you must allow them to find it themselves “voluntarily”, i.e. you can’t “force them” to accept your ideas.
* People will first look for reflections of their own ideas. Currently that can be about “evil gub’mint shutting down a life changing opportunity”. You don’t have any realistic chance if you’re trying to convince them about an opposite idea.
* People prefer choices, e.g. to choose between a few different ideas. You might have a better chance if you offer them some choices, rather than a “one solution will meet all different needs” (e.g. some people can be interested in information only, they won’t like to sign up as clients directly).
“MOSES APSAN IMMIGRANT LAWYER”
Moses Apsan popped up in the TelexFree bankruptcy case when he strongly recommended people to send claims ASAP “without using their brains”. I didn’t like that advice, but the lawyer himself is actually a “skilled sales person” and may be worth looking at in that role.
Here’s a few rules:
1. Identify the problem as THEY see it, not as YOU see it.
2. Offer some information that will match THEIR point of view.
3. Offer some additional information, “something useful” (still from the viewpoint of the potential clients).
4. Offer your own point of view, e.g. if you have other ideas than they have. Those 3 other steps can’t be ignored, but they will most likely need to be modified.
I haven’t analysed it in details, but methods like that will make it much easier for the prospective clients to identify what you have to offer. It will make it much easier for them to make decisions.
Some will make opposite decisions, they’re simply not ready for your solution yet (and they may not be ready for it either within reasonable time). Some are simply strong believers and will ONLY accept their own ideas.
Here’s a couple of videos as examples for “skilled sales person”:
“The fraud interview”:
If you can accept the idea that we don’t need to CONVINCE other people, “the ones who are ready for it will most likely find it anyway among other choices, the ones who are not ready will only offer resistance”, then parts of this post may be useful.
I didn’t follow my own rules, e.g. I immediately attacked the idea you already had about “convincing people”. But that’s not important. I reflected another part of the problem, something you already have experienced = people will not easily be convinced about ideas they don’t already share.
The “Moses Apsan immigrant lawyer” videos in my previous post are only EXAMPLES, meant to give you some IDEAS (other than the idea of “convincing people”).
It doesn’t mean you should try to copy HIS methods, or try to copy MY methods. You will always need to find your own solutions.
“BELSOME ET AL”
Those 2 different class action lawsuits have met some resistance, both here and in the court system.
* Both lawfirms were relatively vague. They promised to get more money faster than people would get through the Receiver, and they have both failed to deliver what they initially promised. That could easily be predicted even by a layman like myself.
* Both of them have failed to give neutral and unbiased legal advices. They have tried to reflect what the clients like to hear rather than the truth.
* When analysing it briefly, I managed to identify SOME “valuable services” in the “Belsome et al” case, e.g. the updates on the website is a valuable service in itself, and some of the legal assistance may be valuable. But the main part of the case is probably flawed.
It means people will ACCEPT some ideas and REJECT others. That’s how PEOPLE work psychologically and rationally (what they FEEL is right and what they THINK is right). The Receiver and the Court will work in a similar way, but with some different ideas than we have (I have).
You won’t need to convince me about the value of your services. I haven’t raised any questions about that. I have only had some objections to the idea of “convincing people”.
I’m pretty sure you can deliver valuable services to TelexFree victims in your market, “something worth paying for”, “something that will improve their chances of getting acceptable results”.
The Order neither states nor implies that.
Miller and Marchaud asserted the basis for their claim and right to collect fees in Docket #258 page 4. (Exhibit A.) Per the terms of the Engagement Agreement, the client authorized them to pursue ALL claims arising out of their investment in the Zeek Rewards scheme and furthermore asssigned and transferred to the lawfirm a portion of any and ALL proceeds recovered.
The Receiver requested the Court deny the lien for numerous persuasive reasons, but primarily based upon the difficulty of assessing claim validity when third party purchasers and agents became involved, and specifically asked the Court NOT to rule on the the validity of the Engagement Agreement which the Court did not.
The Court only Approved the Receiver’s Motion to Deny the Charging Order.
But that means it may still be a different case, doesn’t it?
“SEC v. RVG and Paul Burks” with all the related actions is one case (e.g. “Bell v. Disner et al” will be another case, but it will be related to the first one).
“Belsome et al v. Rex Venture Group LLC et al” is another case. It has been directly affected by the first case., but it’s not related to the first one (e.g. the Patrick Miller lawfirm didn’t need to ask the court for any permission to file the lawsuit, like the Receiver has done in “Bell v. Disner et al”).
Patrick Miller LLC will need to find a different solution for how to collect its lawyer fees. The agreement it has with its clients can’t be extended to third parties / to other cases. That agreement is “contractual in nature”, it will only regulate the relationship between the actual parties. It clearly can’t regulate how the Receiver should pay the victims.
… the Retainer Agreement covers all recoveries arising from the Zeek Rewards scheme. Whether that is a valid and enforceable contract is anybody’s guess (you have a point of view on that) but the court did not take it up, and Bell expressly asked the Court not to do so since it is a side issue between third parties.
Bell has hundreds of thousands of creditors to deal with. He asked the court to consider the administrative difficulty (true chaos) that would ensue if he was forced to pay third party assignees (law firms, third party claim purchasers etc.,) and contractual disputes between the assignees and assignors arose.
As Bell expressed it, each third party dispute would turn into a mini trial that would have to be resolved before the Receiver could pay the claim (or alternatively, if he paid before the dispute was resolved the estate could be liable for paying the wrong amount to the wrong person)
What Bell wanted and what he got, was a ruling that allows him to deal ONLY with the primary and original creditors though the established claim portal using the reconciliation process approved by the court.
Michaud/Miller may in fact be due the funds. If so, they can they can assert that right separately, at another place and time, but the Judge is not going to force the Receiver to act as their distribution agent.
It can be any of the cases you mentioned and more… by contract Michaud/Miller is due a percentage of any recoveries “arising out of their (client’s) investment in the Zeek Rewards scheme” It very broad.
That’s the implication of the ruling. Bell asked the Judge to use his equitable powers to deny the charging lien and that’s what happened.
I saw no finding of fact or law, nor any judicial opinion on the matter. The ruling was aimed at the orderly administration of the estate.
Michaud/Miller’s right to collect money from their clients has not been prejudiced in any way.
You have the right conclusion. I haven’t read Bell’s arguments this time (from the original source). I have read most of them earlier.
Just to clarify something …
I haven’t questioned the validity of those contracts. I haven’t questioned how enforceable they are either. I have actively tried to identify the contracts as both valid and enforceable “to some degree”, e.g. in post #16.
The comment was directed at Gregg Evans.
I have 3 rather lengthy posts, #35, #36 and #37.
* The first one is about the ZeekRewards class action lawsuits.
* The 2 last ones are simply about the idea of “convincing people”. This post will be about the same.
“Convincing people” may work from time to time. You will probably find some people you will be able to convert from “disbelievers” to “true believers”.
That’s normally either because they already believed in some of the ideas initially and could easily be converted to true believers, or because you delivered some “vital pieces of information” they needed to see the case more clearly.
I have questioned that idea itself, i.e. I have “read between the lines” in your post and have identified the problems and solutions differently. What I’m doing now is to build up some basic information or ideas I can refer to later.
“Convincing people” is based on how we THINK other people work. It’s not based on how they really work emotionally and rationally, e.g. in how they make decisions.
I’m pretty sure those 2 “Moses Apsan” videos will attract many new clients to that lawfirm. He has published more than 3,000 of those videos. I have only looked at a few.
SOME FACTORS TO LOOK AT (IN THOSE 2 EXAMPLE VIDEOS)
What he did in those two videos was mainly to give specific groups of people some basic information they potentially could be interested in.
80% of the content was about that, only 20% was about his own role / his lawfirm’s role. The videos may be of interest to specific groups of people even if they have decided to use other immigration lawyers.
He has probably used his own experience to ask the right questions, e.g. “what do people usually ask me about?” or “which specific problems do people face in that situation?”. The answers to those questions should normally point to what he should try to deliver.
One specific idea you should look at: The descriptions of the problems in those videos were presented from the perspective of the clients.
It’s the CLIENTS who will have to face a fraud interview. He could tone down how he could assist them in case of trouble, he didn’t need to exaggerate that part.
The second video was probably designed to make people feel more comfortable about how to contact a lawyer. It was a step-by-step description of how that work, with estimated costs (“affordable”).
Sometimes people will need that type of information, they’re not professionals and they don’t usually know the same things you do.
If you can accept the idea that Moses Apsan’s sales skills actually may work, then I can probably use those videos to point out other factors to look at. I will partly try to change how you SEE the problem.
We can’t answer that question. The Trustee will probably distribute funds DIRECTLY to the net losers, when that time comes a few years into the future.
You will need to check it with the Trustee or claims agent (Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC). They may not accept sending payments to other than the claimants themselves.
It’s most likely too early to get specific answers from any of them (the case simply isn’t “there” yet). But it isn’t too early to ask questions about it. You will need to know as soon as possible whether your method can be accepted or if you will need to change something.
Patrick Miller LLC’s problems are very specific, specific for that case, that lawyer, that lawfirm. It has been an ongoing dispute since late 2012 between the Receiver and Marc Michaud, a dispute about much more than the payment address. I don’t believe they like each other personally. 🙂
Another lawyer (with other ideas) could potentially have managed to get a solution. Marc Michaud’s plan has mostly revolved around “fight the Receiver” ideas, with his own legal expertise as the core weapon. So he has spent most of his time and efforts on fighting. The lawfirm itself has actually delivered some services.
There’s nothing wrong in what you’re doing there, “in itself”, but there are some potential problems. You have seen some of those problems being reflected in the “Belsome et al” lawsuit, where the Receiver actively refused to distribute money via the lawfirm Patrick Miller LLC.
Patrick Miller LLC and J. Calvin Cunningham both tried to circumvent the automatic stay order, by filing slightly different class action lawsuits directly against RVG, Paul Burks and other insiders.
Both seems to have focused primarily on their own ideas, rather than on the realities of the case. None of them have been able to deliver what they initially promised to deliver = a method for the victims to recover more money faster than they would have managed through the receivership’s claims process.
You are in a different situation, but I can detect potential problems in your case too. You have looked at the case from your own perspective, rather than from the perspective of the OTHER PEOPLE involved (victims, Trustee, claims agent, court, etc.).
* The use of your own companies address, rather than the address of each individual victim, MAY become a problem. But that problem MAY also be resolved. Marc Michaud didn’t use a good strategy when he tried to resolve a similar problem. You can probably get some better ideas if you look at where and why his strategy failed.
PONZI SCHEME VICTIMS
When dealing with that type of clients, you will need to balance yourself more in the direction of social skills rather than in the direction of legal skills, e.g. knowing what’s “socially acceptable” may be more important than legal knowledge.
There’s a very short distance between “ambulance chasing” and “valuable legal assistance” when you’re dealing with that type of clients = you may risk meeting unexpected resistance similar to the resistance others have experienced, e.g. in the bankruptcy case.
Greenberg Traurig lawfirm, Alvarez and Marsal consultants, Gordon Silver lawfirm and Stuart A. MacMillan all had to make their services become more “acceptable” and “affordable”, when the bankruptcy case suddenly changed from a reorganizing where they would be in charge to a liquidation controlled by a Trustee.
I don’t know exactly WHY those different firms made the decisions they made, but I have actually tried to analyse it. They all reduced fees down to an “acceptable level” from a different perspective than what they initially had.
“PEOPLE DON’T WORK THAT WAY”
I have used that as a key argument in several of the posts related to your comment. You should focus more on how people work emotionally, psychologically and rationally (e.g. in the timing of offers, whether people are ready for that type of offer).
It will need to be balanced against what you’re able to deliver (e.g. Patrick Miller LLC offered something, but failed to deliver). “Being ready for that type of offer” is about more than getting people to sign up as clients. It will need to be balanced against other factors too, but I can’t cover each and every factor.
As far as I can see, the claims process for TelexFree simply isn’t “there” yet. KCC only has a standard B-10 form available:
The bankruptcy case isn’t “there” yet either. The Trustee is still conducting Rule 2004 investigations. I don’t know exactly where “there” is, but the Trustee should normally prepare one or two reports relatively early in the case. That report (or those reports) are still missing.
From my point of view, it’s still too early to file a claim, but it isn’t too early to prepare for it.
Information is available in Espanol and Portuguese too. Most people will probably manage to update themselves if you make that information available.
ENGLISH / PORTUGUESE / ESPANOL (claims process):
Generally speaking, it will be a much better strategy simply to offer relevant information, and to offer your additional services only where it’s needed and wanted, rather than trying to “force” yourself into such a position.
Low response isn’t related to the victims. They responded eagerly to the right type of offer – the TelexFree offer. So they’re clearly able to respond to offers. If they only slowly have responded to YOUR offer simply means that the offer hasn’t been their first choice.
You can’t reasonably expect 150,000 PEOPLE to adjust themselves to accept your offer, e.g. “to educate themselves” or “become less gullible and vulnerable”. PEOPLE simply don’t work that way, they won’t “adjust themselves” in that way unless they really want it themselves. They won’t respond to ideas like that either. If they do respond, it won’t be the type of response you want.
thank you all for your responses and insight.
i am hoping the funds are sent to the firm, however i have no interest in those checks being made out to MY name, because even though we do have signed and legal contractual agreements with the clients for a % of their recuperated funds, it is highly unrealistic to go door to door to 150,000 people to collect a fee they agreed upon years ago.
the only realistic way to do that, is for the firm to receive their checks, and then call the clients so they can pick up their checks and pay us our %..
like i said, most of these people do not have reachable addresses, they move 3x per year or more, and live in rural areas whose streets are not named yet..
@hoss can you assert this as a fact?
because what i still have unclear is, is the receiver agains Patrick miller llc, charging the clients for their services, or against trying to make the receiver send them money on Patrick millers llc’s name???
because we have no interest in having those checks made out to the firm, but we do have full interest in recieveving those checks at our headquarters.
@m_norway we are not suing anyone, nor do we intend to. and we have NEVER promised to deliver “a method for the victims to recover more money faster than they would have managed through the receivership’s claims process”.
On the contrary, we have always told our clients, explicitly, that no one can make this process move any faster, that no one has any type of influence or “inside connection” in these matter to help them get an expedited or higher return.
we simply offer them assistance, TO FOLLOW the receivership’s claims process.
What i mean by “convince” people, is that we have educated them, on the bankruptcy process, and the hard FACTS and EVIDENCE that has been made available on the KCC website, about the claiming process, to a point, where these people FULLY undestrand what is happening, they fully understand that a distribution will be made eventually, and therefore they file their claims.
so perhaps i should rephrase, we haven’t “convinced” them, we have proved to them, that this is a legitimate process that if followed, will lead to an eventual distribution.
@m_norway , oh my friend, this is what we have done since the start.
since we started, we have focused on informing people of the process, of what is happening and what will happen.
we have focused on showing them the claiming process, and proving to them that this is the right process to follow if they wish to recuperate any funds. it isn’t until the clients UNDERSTAND the bankruptcy and claiming process that we present to them our services.
we have always given out the same main message. IF YOU WANT TO RECOVER MONEY. YOU HAVE TO FILE A CLAIM. that is our message, that is what we have been pushing Dominicans to understand.
they can do it on their own, they can do it with a friend, they can do it with us, they can do it with a foreign law firm. that has never been the focus of our message, the focus has always been to make sure Dominicans understand they have to file a claim, not that they have to file it with us.
we have always made it very very clear, we are only here for those who WANT professional assistance and guidance in filling out their claims.
we show evey single one of our clients the website of KCC. we have published ads in the newspaper, guiding people to go into this specific link:
and to read the information that is there.
i can honestly tell you we have handed out more that 75,000 printed copies of this document. but as i said, Dominicans, due to their Dis-trust and ignorance, they do not recognize the authority of KCC, they see the info, but they do not take it as legitimate.
we focus on the facts of the process. not our services.
what else would you recommend.???
I don’t have much sympathy for idiots.
Let the silly morons continue on with their lives I guess. There’s a point where you just have to give up and move on, you can’t help every stupid idiot out there.
@OZ this is what Dominican victims say:
“i will file a claim ONLY when i am instructed on the TELEXFREE.COM website to do so”.
we already sent a letter to Stephen Darr, requesting this or something similar…. lets hope it comes through….
Yes. You can prepare the Proof of Claim on behalf of your client and if the claim is approved a check will be mailed to your client at the address you provide. There is no problem with doing this, but the creditor (your client) must be both the claimant and the payee.
This could be a good business for you, and one that provides a tangible benefit to the many persons who are unsophisticated, distrustful and uniformed.
As long as you file claims on there behalf and disclose that the form was filed by you as agent, there should be no problem. I wish you luck.
I provided the information about those 2 class action lawsuits because the information was relevant. I have analysed both PARTLY, but different parts (I will need to add information from the Cunningham lawsuit to answer some questions about the Patrick Miller lawsuit).
Your question was “would i be looking at the same scenario as Patrick Miller?”. You will probably meet some problems if you use similar ideas, e.g. “fight the Trustee” ideas, or attempts to circumvent a process in conflict with other people’s interests.
Patrick Miller LLC’s problem isn’t solely about a legal problem. It’s a general problem with ideas and strategies. He has spent most of his time fighting for something not worth fighting for.
People, e.g. the Trustee or a judge, must voluntarily accept your solutions if you have other solutions than they have thought of. Marc Michaud tried to use legal arguments, but the more legal arguments he used the more resistance he met (he also met resistance from the Courts).
Try to answer for yourself the question “WHEN and WHY do people meet that type of resistance?”. Marc Michaud could potentially have negotiated some type of solution if he had used some other types of skills than the ones he used.
@hoss thank you tons for your insight Hoss.
This is exactly what we have been doing. we file the claims with the creditor both as claimant and payee, only the shipping address is ours. everything else, including the clients hand signature, is done by the client personally.
Well, Belsome, et al are not going away. The group known as the “Belsome, et al” has filed an Appeal against the Order striking the Attorney’s Charging Lien from the case Docket.
I guess Patrick Miller, LLC doesn’t like being told “no.”
If you’re still following this article, the TelexFree Trustee gave an interview to Boston Globe a couple of days ago, advising people to WAIT sending in claims.
Post #17 +++ in this thread (I analysed it in post #19, #20):
The Trustee will eventually set up an online claims portal. Paper based claims will only delay the process, and cost the victims and the estate extra money.
Here’s some relevant information from the Boston Globe article mentioned in post #55 (currently awaiting moderation).
That topic is more “Telexfree topic” than “Belsome et al topic”, so the TelexFree thread will be a more relevant place to discuss it.
“Belsome et al” was relevant for the specific question about “Can I expect similar problems? Will a court DENY sending money to an agent?”. It isn’t very relevant to post a more general discussion about TelexFree and the claims process in a Zeek Rewards thread.
Article updated with new of Fourth Circuit appeal denial.
“Belsome et al” have had another appeal dismissed for the same reasons = “not a final order”. It was the “Attorney Charging Liens” appeal.