Practices

At Meland Russin & Budwick, we take an interdisciplinary approach to the law. We pride ourselves on our flexible, creative method of problem solving and on our firm culture that highly prioritizes responsiveness to our clients’ needs.

Financial Frauds

Our firm is recognized in the Chambers USA Guide for our representation of an array of clients in high-profile matters and is “held in particularly high regard for expertise in financial fraud cases.” Following are some quotes provided by sources (mainly our clients) and published by Chambers:

“They are warriors! The top bankruptcy lawyers in Miami when it comes to financial fraud.”

“They have a breadth of talent that’s very good. I would compare them very favorably to any firm in town. They are not lightweights, they are worthy adversaries.”

Our attorneys have represented trustees, receivers, creditor committees, creditor committee members and victims in some of the largest and most high-profile financial frauds and Ponzi schemes in South Florida including In re: Premium Sales Corporation, In re: Evergreen Security, Ltd., In re: Lancer Partners, L.P., In re: Model Imperial, Inc., In re: Phoenix Diversified Investment Corporation, In re: Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler P.A., In re: Innovida Holdings, LLC and In re: Palm Beach Finance Partners, L.P.

Our attorneys have also been appointed by state, federal and bankruptcy courts to serve as receiver, trustee and plan administrator and manage third party litigation. We have extensive experience litigating clawback, professional negligence, usury and tort claims. In particular, we have successfully prosecuted a number of cases against regional and national financial institutions for their role or complicity in a financial fraud.

  • Representation of bankruptcy trustee for two South Florida-based hedge funds that suffered $651 million in cash-on-cash losses in a $2 billion Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Thomas J. Petters in Minneapolis, the third-largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Prosecuted more than 140 adversary proceedings, including claims for accountant and attorney malpractice and clawback of fraudulent transfers, as well as a conspiracy claim against a global financial institution. Successfully prosecuted tort and novel fraudulent transfer claims against BMO-Harris Bank, N.A. resulting in a $16 million recovery. Representation of client as a member of the Petters Company, Inc., Liquidating Trust Committee, responsible for overseeing and managing hundreds of millions of dollars in litigation claims.
  • Representation of the Chapter 7 Trustee and Michael Budwick served as the receiver appointed by the United States District Court in a $19 million Ponzi scheme case perpetrated by Thomas Abrams. Brought a variety of litigation claims and reached a multi-million dollar settlement of an aiding and abetting claim against Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust, N.A.
  • Represented group of major clawback defendants in Lancer Partners financial fraud case.
  • Represented largest creditor in Evergreen Securities bankruptcy in Orlando, Florida, involving $214 million ponzi scheme.
  • Represented largest victim in Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Scott Rothstein and Rothstein Rosenfeldt & Adler, P.A. law firm in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Puig, Inc. – representation of the Official Joint Committee of Unsecured Creditors and then the Plan Administrator in connection with 26 debtor affiliates in the business of condominium conversions. The asserted unsecured claims exceeded $100 million. Prosecuted claims against third parties include actions for avoidance of transfers, professional malpractice, usury, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Representation of the chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee of an entity through which its principal operated a $40+ million ponzi scheme. The principal has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison.
  • Court appointed Mark S. Meland as Receiver for Innovida Companies run by Claudio Osorio. After discovering an approximately $50 million fraud, ceased operations and filed Chapter 11 for numerous entities. Mark S. Meland was appointed the Chapter 11 Trustee and liquidated tangible assets. Firm serves as litigation counsel to the Chapter 7 trustee in numerous avoidance and tort actions seeking to collect funds for defrauded investors.
  • Represented a group of major clawback defendants in the Nevin Shapiro ponzi bankruptcy case who were sued for more than $50 million. Obtained a very favorable ruling on a motion to dismiss which led to settlement of the case at less than 1.5% of the originally sought amount.
  • Representation of insurance company in defense of fraudulent conveyance action brought by bankruptcy trustee. Following protracted litigation, obtained very favorable settlement.
  • Represented EMI Resorts, Inc. and 20 related company defendants through two appeals to the Eleventh Circuit in action alleging wire fraud, money laundering and other violations of RICO in an amount of $170 million. Successfully defended the action through the ultimate dismissal of the action by the plaintiffs.
  • Representation of bankruptcy trustee for two South Florida-based hedge funds that suffered $1.1 billion in losses in connection with the $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Thomas J. Petters in Minneapolis, the third-largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Prosecuted more than 140 adversary proceedings, including claims for accountant and attorney malpractice and clawback of fraudulent transfers, as well as a $1.1 billion conspiracy claim against one of the nation’s largest financial institutions. Successfully prosecuted common law tort and novel fraudulent transfer claims against BMO Harris Bank, N.A. resulting in a recovery of $16,000,000. Representation of client as one of three members of the Petters Company, Inc., Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Minnesota.
  • Representation of a California-based fund, handled bankruptcy-related issues and worked with state court counsel to successfully obtain $60 million judgment against an entity who operated a financial fraud. Also, obtained a $17.5 million non-dischargable judgment against the entity’s principal in his individual chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
  • Appointed by the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court as Receiver for various entities involved in a financial fraud.
  • Representation of bankruptcy trustee for two south florida based hedge funds that suffered $1.1 billion in losses in connection with the $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Thomas J. Petters in Minneapolis, the third largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Prosecuted over 140 adversary proceedings including claims for accountant and attorney malpractice and clawback of fraudulent transfers as well as a $1.1 billion conspiracy claim against one of the nation’s largest financial institutions. Representation of client as one of three members of the Petters Company, Inc. Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Minnesota.
  • Representation of group of defendants sued by bankruptcy trustee under various theories of fraudulent transfer in connection with transfers totaling approximately $14 million.
  • Representation of bankruptcy trustee for two South Florida-based hedge funds that suffered $1.1 billion in losses in connection with the $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Thomas J. Petters in Minneapolis, the third-largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Representation includes prosecuting a $1.1 billion conspiracy claim against one of the nation’s largest financial institutions.