Receiver’s First Fee Application

11 Jun

Joseph W. Grier, III, Receiver, has filed a motion for compensation for the period of March 22, 2013 through May 31, 2013 to Grier, Furr & Crisp, P.A. The motion for compensation seeks fees of $76,561.50 and reimbursement of expenses of $2,857.08, for a total of 79,418.58.

If you do not want the Court to approve this motion, or if you want the Court to consider your views, then on or before June 26, 2013, you or your attorney must do the following: (1) file a written response explaining your position with the Court; (2) mail, fax or email a copy of your response to the Receiver; and (3) attend a hearing on your response, if the Court schedules a hearing.

If you or your attorney do not take these steps, the Court may decide that you do not oppose the relief the Receiver requests and may enter an order approving the motion for compensation.

First Fee Application – Mason Receivership
Exhibit A to First Fee Application – Mason Receivership
Exhibit B to First Fee Application – Mason Receivership
Notice of Opportunity for Hearing – First Fee Application – Mason Receivership

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34 Responses to “Receiver’s First Fee Application”

  1. Vohn June 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Are you serious? How about a distribution
    prior to taking all of our funds!!!

    • RM June 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

      Or at the very least not receive the fee until the distribution(if there is one).

      • Vohn June 11, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

        This is an absolute outrage – reasonable compensation is 495$ an hour??? We all need to send something to the judge contesting this – this is theft of our money!!!

  2. Upset June 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    OMG. There goes our money!! I bet we won’t get 1/3 of what we invested!

    Is this the “American”way?

  3. kevin ambrose June 11, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    America used to be home of the proud and the brave – what the heck happened?
    Is the honesty and integrity of the greatest generation a faint memory?
    Seems like GREED has opened the cellar door and the rats are at our feet.

  4. Tom Cruise June 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Are you serious? Did you really think they were going to work for free or someone else was going to pay them for there work. The money is coming from what they recover.

  5. WBH June 11, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    This is almost theft as bad as James Mason’s.

  6. Ch June 11, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    Want about the victim we should get our money back any one took loans should pay back the all the loans.

  7. Ch June 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    This is as bad as James mason did to his act holders

  8. C June 11, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    Your fees to high you should be working for the account holders and all loans from mason to any account holder should be paid back in full that only right.

  9. Steve Rose June 12, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    the receiver is a crook to just like Mason he should be sitting in prison with him what a joke. What the hell has he done to deserve that kind of money for 3 months,, what a crok. of crap this is…………

    • PantherFan June 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

      $495 an hour? you have to be kidding me. It seems like we were told in the beginning that the receivership was taking this case and charging reasonable fees???? What happened????@#$#@%^&&^%$@@

  10. WB June 14, 2013 at 2:16 am #

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WOW!! ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE!!! WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE VICTIMS AND THE COURT WILL ALLOW THIS.??…WE APPRECIATE THE RECEIVER GETTING ALL THE FACTS AND DESERVING OF FEES………..BUT COME ON THIS IS CRAZY!!! PLEASE MR. RECEIVER HOW MUCH ARE YOU GETTING BACK FOR US!! WE ARE THE ONES THAT LOST OUR HARD EARNED MONEY. MASON IS A CRIMINAL!! WHAT IS THIS????!!!!

  11. vladybrit!@verizon.net June 14, 2013 at 2:23 am #

    I agree with all comments? Who negotiated the fees on our behalf! We will be made victims twice! What the ______

    • PantherFan June 14, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      we all need to file a report to the court as stated in the link above “Notice of Opportunity for Hearing – First Fee Application – Mason Receivership. It will not do us any good to bitch & whine about these outrageous fees unless we send a letter to the court and also a copy of it to the attorney’s office.

      • Vohn A June 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

        Absolutely – we all need to file a report.

      • Andrew Bowsher June 14, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

        We also need to note that the cost for him to find out how much that watch is worth is going to end up costing more than he’ll get out of it. He needs to be smart with his time. There are others in his office that work for much cheaper rates that could do some of this work.

  12. Judgement Day June 15, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    Some guidelines for analyzing a legal bill (bills audit), many more online.

    http://legalcareers.about.com/od/practicetips/tp/10-Billing-Mistakes.htm

    http://www.devilsadvocate.com/Articles/audit.html

  13. Judgement Day June 16, 2013 at 5:49 am #

    http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/2012/09_-_September/Lawyers_under_fire_for_boosting_fees_on_bankrupt_companies/

    Excerpts from “Lawyers under fire for boosting fees on bankrupt companies”
    9/19/2012

    It is part of a proposed overhaul of bankruptcy fee practices to be announced at the end of this month by the U.S. Trustee Program, an arm of the Justice Department that oversees how companies spend money during a court-supervised liquidation or restructuring …

    Bankruptcy fees have long been under scrutiny and the new fee guidelines are aimed at reining in legal costs for troubled companies. Fees in large cases routinely reach hundreds of millions of dollars. In the liquidation of Lehman Brothers Holdings – the largest Chapter 11 case ever — fees paid to lawyers, accountants, financial advisers and other professionals have topped $1.6 billion …

    “Most folks are not repeat players in bankruptcy, so when their professionals tell them that something is normal, they have no reason to question it,” said Nancy Rapoport, a law professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who has served as a court-appointed fee examiner in Chapter 11 cases.

  14. Judgement Day June 19, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    I have a question for the receiver. If someone files a response for the fees to the court, and the court ultimately decides to uphold part of or all of the receiver’s fees, would that person be subject to any court cost?

    • mlmgfc June 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      The Receiver is unaware of any basis for the Court to sanction a party with court costs simply for objecting to the fee application filed by the Receiver’s attorneys. The Receiver encourages interested parties to voice concerns with the fee application (or any other pleading for that matter) to the Court.

      • RM June 19, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

        Thank you for responding.

    • RM June 19, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      I think your question would get answered if it was sent directly to the reciever. I’m not confident questions posted here will get answered.

  15. brad pitt June 19, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    You do realize that the firm is billing this case for the same hourly rate of a Senior Partner Lawyer, but the actual work is done by lower level worker that bill at 20-25% the rate. Work slow and unefficiently to suck up as much money as possible. Remember, this firm is a “FOR PROFIT” firm.

  16. Richard June 20, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    OMG, unfortunately we’re obviously in very inefficient case. The total recovery is just few million $ at best, so this hefty fee gives significant, much larger damage to us victims compared with tens or hundreds million recovery seen in other Ponzi like Zeek. I must say unlike contingency fee, the hourly charge creates conflict of interest between the receiver and the victims because the receiver’s main interest may not necessary be maximizing distribution to the victims but should be maximizing their own profits by prolonging the case as long as possible. Litigation is the most popular tactic to achieve it under the common claim of “We do our best effort to recover from wherever possible for the victims”. However, lawsuit is risky & costly action, big financial institutions must fight back, individual netwinner may have no money left to repay which will end up deep loss after paying huge related litigation expenses and the only winner is the receiver who is paid by the fixed hourly fee. So, the receiver should submit detail cost / benefit calculation with the worst scenario (unless the receiver has solid legal basis to win and clear identification of recoverable asset, the recoverable asset should be estimated 0 as the worst scenario) for every single case to see if the receiver’s action is economically viable before they initiate any cause.

    • Richard June 20, 2013 at 10:20 am #

      So, to me the important thing is not bargaining the receiver’s hourly fee which I’m sure they have confidence to justify but watching their activity to carefully check whether their action results in increasing final distribution to the victims for certain. Especially when it comes to litigation, we should not accept any action with only “Reasonable or Practical Level of Netrecovery” but only accept “Absolute Sure Level of Netrecovery”. When we identify any doubtful move, that’s the time we should bring it to the court. Let me repeat, this is not an efficient case because the impact of the absolute amount of the receiver’s hourly fee is unproportionately high to the total recovery in comparison with other big cases like Zeek, so preventing any unnecessary action of the receiver is the best way to preserve our assets – don’t bother them with simple inquiry by e-mail.

  17. Judgement Day June 20, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    How to save legal cost in a normal case

    Now, how this will apply in a bankruptcy case, I don’t know. Please give your input.

    Another thing: the receiver share all info we presented to them or they discovered with CFTC.

    Do Some Work Yourself

    Help out. You can do a lot of work yourself. For example, you could help gather documents needed to sensibly deal with a problem, line up witnesses for a trial, or write the first couple of drafts of a contract. The idea is to make the best use of your lawyer’s time, not have her spend it doing routine tasks.

    Read everything you can about your legal area.

    Materials published by trade associations and nonprofit public interest groups are only a few of the many places you may be able to learn more about legal developments that bear on your problem. Many publishers and Internet sites — Nolo being just one — publish excellent materials on a wide variety of legal topics from adoption to zoning. Knowing as much as you can will save your lawyer from having to bring you up to speed on the basics.

    Don’t Pay a Lawyer for Unnecessary Tasks

    Ask the lawyer to be your coach. If you have the time and energy to present yourself, make it clear to the lawyer that you’re eager to do as much work as possible yourself with the lawyer coaching you from the sidelines. Many lawyers find it gratifying to impart their knowledge and experience to others, but they’re used to clients who simply drop their problems on the lawyer’s desk to solve. Unless you specifically ask for coaching, you may never tap into your lawyer’s willingness to help you in that way.

    Use nonlawyer professionals.

    Nonlawyer professionals can perform some legal tasks as well as, or better than, lawyers at a far lower cost. For example, look to management consultants for strategic business planning; real estate brokers or appraisers for valuation of properties; accountants for preparation of financial proposals; insurance agents for advice on insurance protection; and independent paralegals for routine form preparation for uncontested legal actions, such as divorces, guardianships, and stepparent adoptions.

    Each of these concerns is likely to have a legal aspect, and you may eventually want to consult your lawyer, but normally you won’t need to until you’ve exhausted less expensive ways to accomplish the task.

    Respect Your Lawyer’s Time and Fees

    Group together your legal affairs. You’ll save money if you consult with your lawyer on several matters at one time.

  18. Judgement Day June 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    Just got an email from a leading investor advocate. He is a very resourceful lawyer whose own investment firm got around USD 55 million tied up in the MFG bankruptcy. His exact words: “(The Receivers) have a lot of discretion and judges generally defer to them. I’ve tried and failed in both PFG and MFG (to challenge the legal cost).”

    In a normal case, we, the clients, have the files and can easily assess whether the fees are reasonable. Here, as relief defendants, we don’t have access to the files, making it almost impossible to check.

    Also, the hiring of a legal bill auditor would incur great sums and is not justified here.

  19. Judgement Day June 20, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    Investors need to have some central places that we can chat and brainstorm and share information, which does not incur legal cost.

    Even us sharing our views here on this forum has a cost. It is totally reasonable for Mr. Grier, Ms. Wright, Ms. Gorman, Mr. Martinez and Ms. Buffaloe to check this forum 6 minutes a day, just 1/10 of an hour . They can’t bill for less than 1/10 of an hour, even if they look at it for 1 minute, they have to charge at 1/10 of an hour, unless they choose to waive their charge.

    Just 6 minutes a day, and even that would have cost us $ 130 per day.

    I am aware of only 2 forums on line, besides this receiver website.

    http://fbf.boards.net/

    They have a lot of members, but the last relevant posting is in early May

    http://lintdodgerfx.proboards.com/

    They have a lot less members, but there are more relevant recent postings.

    Are there any other on-line forums for investors in the Mason scam?

    Now I see many of us have a lot of ideas, and some actually quite good. But these ideas are mostly floating around, with no follow up, research and execution.

    We all basically all acting ALONE. Some of us may be duplicating our research. For example, if one has been researching under the Pacer, then he/she can share the findings with others. Then others do not need to ask the Receiver for certain information.

    All of this will save some money.

    We truly need a coordinating team.

  20. Richard June 21, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    Helping the receiver’s work to save their time is surely one thing and actually the receiver already demanded every useful information from all of us. However, I can’t see tangible value from the receiver’s information disclosure because it may gather a lot of irrelevant & less reliable input which will adversely justify the receiver’s additional work time, and when it comes to individual personal information, the receiver will not disclose anything based on Privacy Act and risk of libel.
    It’s been nearly 3 months since the work started and we should assume the receiver already collected what is needed as we read from Exhibit A, otherwise we now have to challenge their own efficiency. So I’m afriad there is little thing we can do further in this area.

  21. Richard June 21, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Yes, getting familiar with legal proceedings helps all victims understand how the whole thing works, and I believe the more you learn the more you’re convinced of what I said yesterday – under the hourly fee deal receivers tend to initiate lawsuits by claiming practical chance of net recovery although they themselves don’t have so much confidence as they claim, remember even they are defeted in court they are always compensated by the fixed hourly fee, unless the deal is contingency the receiver is always a winner, the only looser is the victims who have to accept smaller distribution in the end.

  22. Richard June 21, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Regarding the nonlawyer professional, I suppose these people may not be able to provide better technical assistance to the receiver who is a specialized professional in this bankruptcy proceedings, but what we can expect is auditing on the receiver’s activity. However, I’m not sure if their work can save more money than the cost we have to pay them as long as we see the receiver’s activities in Exhibit A that looks very simple & straightforward. The only promising area I can imagine is evaluation on the receiver’s litigation proposal if the receiver initiates any in future. If we can prevent the receiver from pursuing any risky lawsuit by using such professional’s assistance, we may be able to save tens or hundreds of thousands $. We can eventually sue the receiver for any litigation activity based on this 3rd party’s professional risk assessment report.

  23. Richard June 21, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    Finally, Imagine what would you do to maximize your profit if you were a receiver, then you can naturally come up with what you need to do. To me, just 1 thing don’t let the receiver do any work that has risk of reducing final distribution to us victims – let me stress that this case is not an efficient operation and we should not accept normal risk / reward ratio but only accept nearly non risk activity, simply because the receiver’s fixed cost accounts too much in the whole recoverable assets – unfortunately this is not like Zeek case.

    • pantherfan July 16, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

      Does anyone know how our “value-priced” receiver is going about collecting money from the people who profited from James Masonscam? There was 100’s of thousands of $$$ paid out and has been very little said (if anything) on how that is being handled..Sorry to the people who profited from this scumbag criminal but if you were on the same side of the fence as 99% of us are, you would be asking the same questions…..

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