FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Echo Marketing & Media
Susan Linning, [email protected]
Jonathan E. Perlman, Court-Appointed Receiver over 321 Loans and other Marcus-Related Entities, sues PNC Bank for Its Involvement in $85M Debt Relief Scheme
MIAMI, FL (June 5, 2019) – Jonathan Perlman, Shareholder at Genovese Joblove & Battista and the court-appointed Receiver for Defendants 321 Loans, Inc., Helping America Group, Instahelp America, Inc., Financial Freedom National, Inc. and over 30 other entities, has sued PNC Bank for its involvement in the $85 million 321 Loans debt relief scheme. Perlman has asserted claims against PNC for aiding and abetting a fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting conversion and fraudulent transfers.
On May 8, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the Attorney General, State of Florida, Department of Legal Affairs filed the Enforcement Case against Jeremy Lee Marcus and other individuals, and 321 Loans and other entities engaged in a phony debt relief scheme that extracted more than $85 million from thousands of consumers using 142 Internet domain names and 440 direct-dial phone numbers. Innocent consumers were falsely told that their unsecured debts would be settled or payment terms modified to reduce balances, interest rates or fees. The consumers paid millions of dollars and received little, if anything, in return. Many of those individuals, some of whom were already in financial distress, elderly or disabled, were left in worse financial positions, sued by their creditors and even forced into bankruptcy. (Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. Jeremy Lee Marcus, et al., Case No. 17-60907-CIV-MORENO).
The Court appointed Mr. Perlman as Receiver over all Marcus’s entities and entered injunctive relief, shutting down the business while Perlman managed and investigated the companies affairs and sought to preserve and bring assets back to the estate for eventual redress to victims.
Perlman’s complaint alleges that Marcus and his companies started banking with PNC in early 2014, when he initially launched his fraudulent debt relief business. The complaint alleges that PNC allowed Marcus to engage in numerous, suspicious and unlawful activities, including check kiting, defrauding customers, using accounts that were chronically overdrawn and sending excessive numbers of wire transfers. In July 2014, PNC shut down Marcus and his companies’ accounts “for cause,” which a PNC Vice President testified as meaning fraud, money laundering or something similar. PNC alerted other banks that it had shut down the accounts “for cause.” Nine months later, despite knowing about Marcus and the Receivership Entities’ unlawful activities, PNC took them back as clients.
In round two of PNC’s relationship with Marcus and the Receivership Entities, Marcus, with PNC’s assistance, revved up the debt relief scheme to new levels. PNC executives watched and assisted the funneling of millions of victims’ dollars through the accounts. In a former PNC Vice President’s words, “big, big amount[s]” were being transferred “sideway, cross way, up and down, [across] all the 12 accounts,” including between accounts being held by for-profit and purportedly not-for-profit companies, which PNC knew was improper. PNC also assisted Marcus in funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into offshore accounts, including into Panama.
Over the life of the Marcus/321 Loans/PNC banking relationship, more than $32.8 million passed through PNC accounts.
Perlman is represented by attorneys Gregory M. Garno, Theresa M.B. Van Vliet, Michael A. Friedman and W. Barry Blum, also of Genovese Joblove & Battista. Perlman has served as a court-appointed receiver in numerous actions brought by federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and FTC. He currently serves as the court-appointed receiver in the World Patent Marketing invention-promotion scam, which received national attention due to the involvement of former acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. Perlman also currently serves as court-appointed receiver in the Pointbreak Media robocall Google impersonation scheme. He served as the court-appointed receiver in the Creative Capital Ponzi scheme orchestrated by South Florida resident George Theodule, who is currently incarcerated.
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. Since 1999, GJB has grown steadily to become a major regional firm serving clients throughout the United States, with offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, and an affiliate office in Caracas, Venezuela. 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.