1. What is a Receivership?
A Receivership is a process whereby an independent Receiver is appointed by the Court and is charged with preserving and liquidating the assets of the Defendants and the Relief Defendants. The Receiver will also analyze the claims against those assets.
The Receiver establishes a process by which persons with claims against the Receivership Estate, including investors and creditors, can present their claims.
After completing that process, the Receiver typically makes a recommendation to the Court on how the assets and the claimants should be treated. Generally, anyone impacted by the recommendations will be given notice of the recommendation and an opportunity to object. Any objections that cannot be resolved between the Receiver and the objector would be decided by the Court.
Finally, after all claims are resolved, the funds are distributed pro rata to each claimant with a valid claim.
Generally, we anticipate that the Millennium Bank Receivership will proceed in this manner.
2. My account is frozen. What does this mean?
This means that you cannot withdraw money from the account.
3. What do I need to do now?
Investors should gather all of the documents related to their investment, including contracts, statements, and records of payments and receipts. This will greatly assist both the investor and the Receiver once the claim process is established. Likewise, creditors should gather documents substantiating their claim.
4. What do I need to do to submit a claim for the monies due to me?
Please review the Claims page of this Web site for procedures for notifying the Receiver of your claim and the form for doing so.
5. How long does this process last, and when can I expect to receive the monies available to me?
The length of time this process takes is dependent on the time taken to recover and sell all the assets of Millennium Bank. Unfortunately, this means that it is uncertain how long this process will last. It is far too early to know what amount may be distributed to investors or even if there will be sufficient funds to make any distribution to the investors.
6. How much am I likely to receive?
The amount you receive will be dependent on proceeds received from the sale of assets under control of the Receiver and the amount of claims received against those proceeds.
7. How are funds distributed, and is there an order of priority?
The Receiver’s aim is to ensure that all investors and depositors are treated equally.
8. What is the status of instructions already submitted to the bank?
Millennium Bank is not dealing with any further instructions not already dealt with as all of the bank accounts have been frozen.
9. Can I send requests for information to the Bank?
No. All inquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. How do I advise the Bank and the Receiver of a change of address?
All such requests should be sent to email@example.com.
11. Should I consult a lawyer?
The Receiver cannot and will not give you legal advice with respect to this case. Therefore, if you believe you need an attorney, you should hire your own.
From the Receiver’s perspective, having a lawyer will not cause for you to be paid any sooner than any other investor, and failure to hire a lawyer will not cause you to be paid any later than any other investor.
The Receiver is charged with acting in the interests of all investors in trying to identify, secure, and liquidate assets; pay outstanding legitimate expenses; and make distributions to investors as soon as possible.
12. Does the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) get a portion of the money recovered by the Receiver?
No. The net amount of all funds obtained by the Receiver are paid to the investors, usually on a pro rata basis.
13. Who is Richard Roper, and is he an employee of the SEC?
Richard B. Roper is a lawyer in private practice at the global law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP. He previously served as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, where he prosecuted securities fraud cases.
Mr. Roper does not work for or take instructions from the SEC. He is appointed by and answers directly to the United States District Court.
14. Are there bank accounts that have been seized?
Yes. As stated in the SEC’s Complaint, Defendants used much of investors’ money to pay for personal expenses. Nevertheless, after being appointed by the Court, the Receiver worked with various banks to freeze accounts and seize money deposited in Defendants’ and Relief Defendants’ bank accounts. All money seized has been deposited into an interest-bearing account in the name of Richard B. Roper, Receiver for Millennium Bank, et al.
The Receiver continues to work to find, freeze, and seize money on deposit in additional domestic and foreign accounts and welcomes information leading to this goal.
In addition to bank accounts, the Receiver has seized real and personal property assets belonging to Defendants and Relief Defendants, discussed in detail in the motions filed with the Court on May 22, 2009 and available on this Web site. The Receiver continues his search for additional assets that may be located in foreign jurisdictions beyond St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
15. Has the Receiver seized documents and materials from the Defendants’ offices?
Yes. Upon being appointed by the Court, the Receiver and his team travelled to the Defendants’ two domestic offices in Napa, California and Raleigh, North Carolina. Documents, computers, cell phones, and other materials were seized from both offices and remain in the Receiver’s possession. In addition to reviewing the documents and materials for the purpose of identifying additional bank accounts, assets, interested persons, and the like, the Receiver has made the documents and materials available for review to interested governmental agencies.
16. Has the Receiver seized the Defendants’ residences?
Yes. The Receiver seized the homes of the Defendants and certain Relief Defendants and has asked the Court to approve procedures for selling the homes, which sales are governed by 28 U.S.C. § 2001 and 2004. On May 22, 2009, the Receiver filed motions with the Court asking for approval of various proposed procedures for liquidating the seized residences. Copies of the motions are available on this Web site.
17. Are there assets in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that can be recovered?
Yes. The St. Vincent and the Grenadines government’s financial sector, the International Financial Services Authority (IFSA), retains jurisdiction over Defendants’ assets located on the island. After the SEC filed its complaint initiating legal proceedings in the U.S., IFSA appointed accounting firm KPMG as Receiver for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Like the Receiver appointed in the U.S., KPMG was appointed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in order to assume control over the affairs of the Millennium Bank branch located there in order to preserve records and assets. The U.S. Receiver and KPMG communicate regularly regarding their respective work and efforts to recover assets for the benefit of investors and creditors of the Estate.
18. What is the Receiver doing to limit costs being incurred by the Receivership Defendants and Relief Defendants?
The Receiver is closely monitoring the costs being incurred by Defendants and Relief Defendants, both individually and through the maintenance of assets in the Estate. For instance, an airplane belonging to Millennium Bank requires monthly maintenance and service in order to remain fully and properly functional and, therefore, marketable. Likewise, Defendants incurred monthly rental fees for leased office spaces in Napa and Raleigh. The Receiver has reached an agreement with each lessor for the Estate to terminate the leases and receive a release from lessors for any claims lessors may have brought for unpaid rents, termination, or re-letting costs, etc. One such agreement has been submitted for the Court’s review and a second soon will be; they are both subject to approval by the Court. The Receiver continues to monitor ongoing costs to the Estate and is taking necessary steps to limit, terminate, or negotiate them.
19. Are the whereabouts of William Wise known?
At this time and given the nature of ongoing governmental investigations into the activities of Defendants and Relief Defendants, the Receiver cannot discuss this issue beyond stating that Mr. Wise is apparently not currently in the U.S.
20. Has the Receiver been in contact with William Wise?
Yes. The Receiver has also been in contact with Laurie Walton, Daryl Hoegel, Ryan Hoegel, Kristi Hoegel, and counsel for Lynn Wise, Brijesh Chopra and Phillippe Angeloni.
21. How is the Receiver notifying investors and other creditors of his actions?
Any time the Receiver intends to sell assets belonging to the Estate or take other action that directly affects the Estate, such as releasing an obligation belonging to the Defendants (for example, asking the Court to approve a deed in lieu of foreclosure for a home belonging to Daryl and Jacqueline Hoegel on which they owe well more than it is worth), the Receiver must obtain Court approval. To obtain Court approval, the Receiver files written motions which may or may not be opposed by parties to the case.
In addition to the requirement to obtain Court approval to take action affecting the Receivership Estate, the Receiver is required to submit written reports to the Court that disclose the findings and activities of the Receiver. The Receiver’s first report will soon be filed with the Court and will be made available to the public via (1) this Web site; and/or (2) PACER, a public system whereby court documents may be accessed.
To notify investors and other creditors of the courses of action proposed by the Receiver, Orders entered by the Court, etc., the Receiver posts PDF versions of such documents to this Web site. Additionally, all documents filed with or entered by the Court (including hearing notices) are available via PACER at http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/. There is no charge to register for a PACER account, but there is an $.08 per page cost to view or print documents.
While the Receiver is preparing to distribute a packet to investors via U.S. mail in order to ensure investors each have the opportunity to submit Claim Notification Forms, the costs associated with providing mailed copies of all documents generated in the case are prohibitive and would unnecessarily erode the value of the Estate. Likewise, many investors and other creditors or interested persons have contacted the Receiver via his email address at firstname.lastname@example.org and complained of a lack of response. Please be assured that the Receiver’s team is reviewing every email that is received. The attorney time required to respond to each email, however, is also cost prohibitive and would unnecessarily strip value from the Estate and from monies available to reimburse investors in the future. Therefore, all investors, creditors, or other interested persons are strongly encouraged to continue monitoring the Web site and PACER, where the Receiver will make each of his recommendations and intended actions public.
22. How do I know if I’ve submitted all the necessary documents for my Claim Notification Form?
The Receiver’s team is reviewing every claim packet received via email at email@example.com and/or forwarded by mail directly to the Receiver. The Receiver is also preparing to send to investors, via mail, a hard copy packet of the documents to complete to submit a Claim Notification in the event any investor cannot access the Web site.
Once your claim packet has been reviewed, you will be notified of any deficiencies.
Even if you have already submitted documentation to the SEC, or filed a claim with another domestic or foreign body or agency, the Receiver may not have received that information. You MUST submit your information to the Receiver to ensure that the Receiver can process your claim.
For detailed information relating to claim submissions, please visit the Claims page of this Web site, where you can review the guidelines and procedures document and utilize the Claim Notification Form and Declaration.