By Bill Flynn, Esq.
Ponzi schemes and other investment fraud abuse is on the rise as individuals take charge of their own retirement plans. In 2008, some of the world's most sophisticated investors were duped by Bernie Madoff, the New York City investment adviser accused of running a decades-long $50 billion classic Ponzi scheme.
More recently, local investors have accused Cincinnati-based money manager Glen Galemmo of running an elaborate scheme that could see investment losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. Because Ponzi schemes are not the only danger facing investors as they take greater responsibility of their own portfolios, here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of any investment scam.
5 Common Investment Scams
Bill Flynn's career as litigation and trial counsel covers a wide cross-section of state and federal business, investment fraud and other commercial related disputes. This work includes class-actions, multi-party and other complex litigation involving federal and state securities laws, shareholder derivative actions involving officer and director fiduciary duties and related corporate governance issues. He is well-known for his experience in the financial services sector as a strong advocate for investors and has recovered millions of dollars lost to fraudulent or unsuitable sales practices, professional negligence and regulatory violations.
|Strauss Troy Attorney |
Supreme Court Ruling on Spousal Rights Raises More Benefits Questions For Employers
Guidance Needed From
That Section of DOMA defined "spouse" as "only a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife" when applied to federal laws and regulations. The Supreme Court found that its application would violate the equal protection clause for same-sex couples married under state law. However, the decision did not address the question of how to determine when a same-sex couple is considered to be married for purposes of applying federal law. As of this writing, same-sex couples may be legally married in 17 states, but there is no requirement that the other states recognize those marriages as valid.
Employers need to consider the effect of this decision on their obligations under a myriad of federal laws. The Family and Medical Leave Act is more complex because FMLA provides that a "spouse" is defined by the state in which the employee resides.
Compounding this issue is the fact that state laws vary, not only in whether same-sex marriages can be legally performed, but whether and to what extent marriages valid in other states will be recognized.
It is clear that prompt guidance is needed and that there must be coordination among the various federal agencies so that employers are not left with unanswerable questions.
Strauss Troy Attorney Claudia Allen
Claudia Allen's practice is concentrated in the areas of employee benefits, qualified retirement plans and employment law. She is a frequent lecturer and author of many articles in areas of qualified retirement plans, deferred compensation, employment law and other employee benefits. For guidance on aligning your employee benefits programs with current state and federal regulations:
By John Fischer, Esq.
If you buy a defunct company, from its bank or out of receivership or bankruptcy, make sure that you aren't liable for any actual, or alleged, labor and employment law violations of the old company. The burden of proof is on you -- even with an asset purchase and hold-harmless agreements. Federal courts can simply ignore these. Often, labor and employment law's "federal successor liability rules" actually trump state business laws and contracts designed to protect buyers.
According to the courts, the assurance of a predecessor or seller that there is no merit to any pending or potential employment-related claims is not an adequate defense. In short, the federal courts and agencies have ruled that a buyer/successor assumes the risk associated with any employment-related actions of the former owner which may be found unlawful at a later date. And the buyer cannot look to the former owner for reimbursement because the former owner is closed, gone, or otherwise without any assets.
Courts Look For Three Indicators:
- Substantial continuity of business operations
- Whether or not the buyer had (or should have had) notice of the potential liability
- If the predecessor was unable to provide full relief to the allegedly harmed employees (including reemployment)
Thomas & Betts Company recently bumped up against these rulings and lost a $500,000 overtime settlement after it purchased -- at an open auction -- the assets of an unrelated closed company, Packard. Thomas & Betts put the assets into service and hired some former Packard employees to help operate them. The court found that Thomas & Betts met the three criteria for liability.
Asset purchasers have also found themselves responsible to pay millions of dollars of liability for the pension contributions or pension withdrawal liability owed by closed former owners.
Could you be liable for a former owner's employment law violations? As a purchaser, you are not defenseless. There are steps you can take.
Strauss Troy Attorney
For more than 30 years, John Fischer has been engaged full-time in the private practice of management-side labor & employment law and litigation on a sophisticated level. He has substantial experience as lead attorney representing employers in all aspects of labor & employment law on a regional and national basis. John is a Board Certified Specialist in Labor & Employment Law.
Attorneys On The Move
Attorney Kevin Sprecher joins the firm as a member of the Strauss Troy Corporate | Business group and head of the firm's Intellectual Property practice. His work emphasizes all aspects of intellectual property law including U.S. and international patent prosecution, portfolio management and counseling, as well as licensing, internet issues, brand development, U.S. and international trademark prosecution and portfolio management, regulatory compliance, antitrust, trade secrets, due diligence and general corporate law. Kevin has extensive experience working with companies ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. He is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Shareholder Lawsuit Against
Eaton plc Still Pending
Strauss Troy Attorney Tom Glass was recently interviewed by Cleveland's The Plain Dealer. He is part of the team of lawyers representing a shareholder in a lawsuit against officials of Eaton Corp. (now officially an Irish corporation known as Eaton plc). Tom says that Eaton is arguing that its merger with Cooper Industries plc during the pendency of the lawsuit wiped out all shareholders, leaving no grounds for the lawsuit to continue. The case is currently pending before Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O'Donnell.
Strauss Troy Attorney Joy Hall has been appointed to the Cincinnati Bar Association's Southwestern Ohio Tax Institute planning committee. Each year, the Tax Institute holds a first-rate Continuing Legal Education (CLE) conference featuring locally and nationally-noted tax experts. The 54th annual Southwestern Ohio Tax Institute is taking place December 6-7, 2013 at the Cincinnati Bar Center. Joy focuses her work in the areas of tax controversy, tax audit and criminal tax issues. Her practice includes federal and state tax litigation, refund issues, criminal tax indictments/trials, Offers in Comprise, audits and innocent spouse filings.
|Cellist Ben Fryxell (l) Shakes Hands |
With KSO Conductor J.R. Cassidy
KSO Final Summer Concert
Saturday, August 31
Bring blankets & lawn chairs
|Strauss Troy's "Justice League" - Kacey O'Connell (l), Lucy McCormack, Debbie Hilling, Erinn McKee Hannigan, Justin Mossburger and Brian O'Connell|
The "Justice League," a Strauss Troy attorney and staff team, participated in the Cincinnati Corporate Olympics held July 10th on Fountain Square to
benefit Special Olympics
The Justice League included: Attorneys Erinn McKee Hannigan
and Brian O'Connell
, employees Debbie Hilling and Lucy McCormack, Special Olympian Justin Mossburger, and Brian O'Connell's daughter, Kacey.
The Strauss Troy team finished 6th
out of 23 corporate teams and competed in games such as "the late for work shuffle," "playing hooky" and "the profit squeezer" at the 16th
Special Olympic Oath
"Let me win, but if I cannot win,
let me be brave in the attempt."
150 E. Fourth Street
The Federal Reserve Building
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
50 E. RiverCenter Blvd.
Covington, Kentucky 41011