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Intersection of the Bankruptcy Code with Criminal and Civil Forfeiture

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 63 minutes
Recorded Date: December 10, 2021
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  • The Battle over Forefeited Assets
  • Coordination Agreement - US v. Dreier
  • Coordination Agreement - In re MuniVest Services LLC
  • Coordination Agreement - In re Rothstein Rosenfeldt Alder
  • 28 CFR Section 9.1
  • 18 USCA Section 982
  • 21 USCA Section 853
Runtime: 1 hour, 3 minutes
Recorded: December 10, 2021

For NY - Difficulty Level: For experienced attorneys only (non-transitional)
For NY - Difficulty Level: Both newly admitted and experienced attorneys


Amid criminal seizure and forfeiture actions imposed by the DOJ, SEC and other regulatory bodies, criminals often have no choice but to file for bankruptcy. This panel will explore financial crimes, including Ponzi and FCPA schemes, that have resulted in bankruptcy filings, and the conflict that ultimately arises between the bankruptcy estate and the federal government over criminals’ seized and forfeited assets. The panelists will also delve into asserting a legal interest in the assets, the look-back period, remedies to the bankruptcy estate and priority schemes.

This program was recorded as part of ABI's 2021 Winter Leadership Conference on December 10th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute
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Frank P. Terzo

Partner, Bankruptcy & Creditor's Rights & Health Law Practice
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Frank P. Terzo is is a partner in the Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights and Health Law Practice of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where his practice is devoted to a wide range of insolvency matters, particularly health care insolvency and restructuring cases. Recently, he represented a $50 million bank syndication that had a secured claim against a significant Florida-based holding company with multiple subsidiaries operating Medicare Advantage HMOs and Medicare Advantage PFFSs in Florida, Texas, Georgia and Nevada. Additionally, he served as special health care counsel in a well-publicized skilled-nursing home case that challenged CMS’s termination of the SNF’s provider agreement in both the bankruptcy court, federal district court and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Most recently, he represented the UCC and now the liquidating trust in a critical-access hospital case involving a $300 million clinical laboratory fraud.

Prior to practicing law, Mr. Terzo spent 18 years in the health care industry, successfully starting up, managing and operating various public companies in physician practice management, comprehensive home health care and national clinical laboratories. His experience in health care businesses has provided numerous opportunities to represent trustees and committees in hospital, nursing home, diagnostic center and HMO cases, as well as an appointment as a patient care ombudsman in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Mr. Terzo is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, named as a “Super Lawyer” by Florida Super Lawyers magazine, described as a “Top Attorney” in the South Florida Legal Guide, and listed in the 2009-2020 editions of The Best Lawyers in America and the 2012-2019 editions of Chambers & Partners USA. He currently serves on the Bankruptcy Faculty Advisory Board of St. John’s University School of Law in New York and on the advisory boards of ABI’s Caribbean Insolvency Symposium and Alexander L. Paskay Bankruptcy Seminar.

Mr. Terzo is a former adjunct professor of bankruptcy law at Nova Southeastern University School of Law. He received his B.S. from the University of Cincinnati and his J.D. with honors from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif.

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Evelyn Sheehan

Kobre & Kim LLP

Evelyn B. Sheehan is a lawyer with Kobre & Kim LLP in Miami, where she focuses her practice on advising institutional clients and their executives in cross-border investigations, government enforcement actions and related asset-forfeiture matters. In addition, she also counsels clients in global asset-tracing investigations and recovery efforts, in which she leads offensive asset-forfeiture actions in aid of civil-claim monetization.

Before joining Kobre & Kim, Ms. Sheehan served as a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. Most recently, she served as deputy chief of the Asset Forfeiture Division for that office, where she was responsible for overseeing complex cross-border investigations related to international corruption, foreign bribery, white-collar fraud, narcotics trafficking, organized crime and violations of anti-money laundering laws.

During her tenure at the Department of Justice, Ms. Sheehan worked for more than six years to litigate the complex forfeiture matters related to the infamous $1.4 billion fraud scheme led by Scott Rothstein. The prosecution and forfeiture resulted in the successful conviction and imprisonment of 29 total defendants, and, as a result of the significant forfeiture recovery and coordination with the liquidating trustee for the law firm of Rothstein, Rosenfeldt and Adler, concluded in the full restitution of the hundreds of victims involved. As a result of her work in this case, Ms. Sheehan was awarded the 2016 U.S. Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award and was a semi-finalist for the 2010 Daily Business Review’s Most Effective Lawyers Award for Criminal Justice Category.

Ms. Sheehan was also a member of the Regional Committee of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). As a result of her work on two high-profile international money-laundering investigations, she earned two National OCDETF Awards. She has also lectured extensively on the application of asset-forfeiture and money laundering laws for the U.S. Department of Justice and a number of federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Before her time as a prosecutor, Ms. Sheehan practiced with White & Case LLP, where she focused on complex commercial litigation, and with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where she focused on private-equity fund formation and bankruptcy work. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from Yale Law School.

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Hon. Steven Rhodes

United States Bankruptcy Courst, Eastern District of Michigan

Judge Rhodes has been a United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Eastern District of Michigan since 1985, serving in Detroit. He was chief judge of the court from 2002- 2009. He has served two terms on the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Sixth Circuit, 1997-2004 and 2008-2011. He was also chief judge of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel from 2002-2004.

His undergraduate degree is from Purdue University in Mechanical Engineering in 1970 and his law degree is from the University of Michigan Law School in 1972. In law school, he served as an editor of the Michigan Law Review. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School from 1992-2003, teaching bankruptcy law, and at the University of Detroit Law School in 1986, teaching ethics.

From 1994-1996, he was an Associate Editor for the American Bankruptcy Law Journal, published by the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. In 1995, he was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. From 2005-2009, he was Vice President for Research of the American Bankruptcy Institute and on its Executive Committee. On April 3, 2009, the ABI awarded him its 2009 Distinguished Service Award. He was recently elected to serve a three year term on the Board of Governors of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, beginning in October, 2011, and will then also serve a concurrent term on the Judicial Council of Sixth Circuit.

His publications include The Ethical Obligations of a Chapter 7 Trustee, 80 AM. BANKR. L.J. 147 (2006); A Preview of "Demonstrating a Serious Problem with Undisclosed Assets in Chapters 7 Cases," 2002 No. 5 (May) Norton Bankr. L. Advisor 1; An Empirical Study of Consumer Bankruptcy Papers, 73 AM. BANKR. L.J. 653 (Summer 1999); Eight Statutory Causes of Delay and Expense in Chapter 11 Cases, 67 AM. BANKR. L.J. 287 (Summer 1993).

He has spoken at numerous conferences and seminars on bankruptcy law and practice sponsored by the Federal Judicial Center, the National Association of Bankruptcy Judges, the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, the National Association of Chapter Thirteen Trustees, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the American Bar Association, the Commercial Law League, the Turnaround Managers Association, the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Accountants, the United States Trustee Program, the Byrne Judicial Clerkship Institute at Pepperdine Law School, the Michigan Institute for Continuing Legal Education and several other state and local bar organizations in Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida, Georgia and Kansas.

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Kathy Bazoian Phelps

Raines Feldman LLP

Kathy Bazoian Phelps has been a lawyer since 1991 and is currently a partner at Raines Feldman LLP in the Los Angeles office. In addition to individually serving as a fiduciary in certain matters, Kathy practices in the area of insolvency law, fiduciary representation, and fraud litigation, where she represents federal equity and state court receivers and bankruptcy trustees. Kathy frequently serves as special litigation counsel for fiduciaries and interested parties in fraud-related litigation, cases arising out of receivership and bankruptcy as well as parallel criminal and civil forfeiture proceedings. She is particularly knowledgeable about the administration of Ponzi scheme cases and has extensive litigation experience in claims arising in these types of cases.

Kathy has lectured widely and written on bankruptcy and receivership matters, with a focus on Ponzi schemes. Her book entitled The Ponzi Book: A Legal Resource for Unraveling Ponzi Schemes, co-authored with Hon. Steven Rhodes, has garnered national and international attention as the authoritative work on Ponzi scheme law.

In addition to her roles as lawyer, speaker and author, Kathy also serves as a mediator and is currently on the mediation and arbitration rosters for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, as well as the Bankruptcy Mediation Panel for the Central District of California and the Bankruptcy Mediation Panel for the District of Arizona.

Kathy’s personal interests and accomplishments include extensive travel and the study of the Chinese Mandarin language.

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