FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Cindi Perantoni, [email protected]
Karla Cobreiro, [email protected]
VICTIMS OF GEORGE THEODULE’S PONZI SCHEME CAN NOW SUBMIT CLAIMS TO THE RECEIVER
Court-Appointed Receiver Jonathan E. Perlman Obtains Approval of Claims Process and Plan for Distributing Funds
MIAMI, FL (April 4, 2016) – Jonathan E. Perlman, the court-appointed Receiver for Creative Capital Consortium and other companies that George Theodule used to swindle victims in a $68 million Ponzi scheme, received court approval of a claims process and plan for distributing funds to victims. U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley approved Perlman’s summary claims procedures in SEC v. Creative Capital Consortium, LLC, Case No. 08-CIV-81565 (S.D. Fla.). The procedures, agreed to by the Securities and Exchange Commission, allow victims to submit claims for evaluation and allows the Receiver to obtain final court approval of pro rata distributions to eligible victims.
From the summer of 2007 through 2008, Theodule operated a Ponzi scheme and defrauded thousands of investors, including many working-class Haitian-Americans in Florida, Georgia and elsewhere, with promises of guaranteed high returns within 90 days. Holding himself out as a Christian pastor, Theodule used his Haitian roots to gain investors’ trust and confidence. The scheme was fueled by more than 100 investment clubs formed by Theodule’s relatives and cronies, as well as by unwitting investors who recruited their friends and family to join. Theodule pleaded guilty to federal charges and was sentenced to 12-1/2 years in federal prison in February 2014.
When Perlman was appointed in late December 2008, the Theodule-related companies he inherited were deeply insolvent with less than $28,000 in bank accounts. After years of chasing assets and pursuing lawsuits against those responsible, the Receiver plans to distribute more than $5 million to victims.
Perlman and his team relentlessly pursued claims to recover fraudulently-transferred funds in more than 30 cases, including claims against two national banks and two broker-dealer firms where Theodule used accounts to operate his scheme. After the district court dismissed the Receiver’s cases against Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank (formerly Wachovia Bank) in 2012, the Receiver’s legal team convinced the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the dismissals and reinstate both cases in 2014. Perlman ultimately resolved both cases. The Receiver’s tenacity also resulted in negotiated settlements against the broker-dealers, TD Ameritrade and optionsXpress by Charles Schwab. The resolutions of those claims cleared the way for the Receiver to make distributions to Theodule’s victims.
“For over six years, the Receiver worked tirelessly to recover funds for victims who were devastated by George Theodule’s scheme. We are proud of the work we’ve done and pleased to be able to bring some relief to deserving victims,” said W. Barry Blum, counsel for Perlman and a partner at the Miami law firm Genovese Joblove & Battista. “We feel privileged as lawyers to have had the opportunity to create a recovery for these innocent victims.”
“It’s been a hard-fought battle. Our team made law in the Eleventh Circuit, which helped the victims of Theodule’s scheme and will help victims of future Ponzi schemes when receivers and trustees pursue claims,” said Perlman, a shareholder at Genovese Joblove & Battista. “I look forward to bringing years of hard work full-circle and providing some restitution to Theodule’s victims.”
The claims process is underway and will continue through August 16, 2016. Investor victims may submit a claim by completing a Proof of Claim form and sending it to the Receiver by August 16, 2016. A Proof of Claim form and the Court-approved notice of bar date and claims procedures can be downloaded from the Receiver’s website, http://creativecapitalreceivership.com/. The Receiver will also send the claim documents, including a Proof of Claim form, to all potential claimants for which the Receiver has contact information.
“Our team is working to make an initial distribution to eligible claimants by the end of the year,” Perlman added.
About Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A.
Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A. (GJB) was established in 1999 by founding partners John H. Genovese, Michael D. Joblove, and Paul J. Battista. Today, GJB has grown steadily to become a major regional firm with offices in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and an affiliate office in Caracas, serving clients throughout the U.S. GJB attorneys are recognized for their experience representing clients in large and complex litigation in a number of areas, including bankruptcy, insolvency, receiverships, franchises, and general commercial matters, as well as white collar, real estate, employment law, class actions, and securities litigation. The firm and its affiliate, GJB Consulting, also counsel clients in local, state and federal government matters. For more information, visit www.gjb-law.com.