Stichter Riedel Attorneys Successful in Imposing Equitable Lien on Debtor’s Homestead Property – June 22, 2017

The firm, representing the court-appointed receiver for one of the largest Ponzi schemes in Florida history, recently obtained summary judgment against a debtor in bankruptcy who used profits from the Ponzi scheme to purchase his homestead property.  In a June 22, 2017 memorandum opinion, the Honorable K. Rodney May of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, agreed with virtually all of the firm’s arguments. In deciding to impose an equitable lien and constructive trust over the defendants’ homestead exemption, Judge May held that the defendant’s participation in the fraud is not determinative; the focus is the fraudulent nature of the funds and unjust enrichment.  The court ultimately imposed an equitable lien and constructive trust on the homestead property for the full amount of Ponzi scheme proceeds invested into the property, plus prejudgment interest.  The firm’s representation was led by Susan Heath Sharp and Matthew Hale.