Thursday, May 30, 2019

SEC Sues UPS in Lamar Adams Case

SEC Receiver Allyson Mills sued the UPS Store in Madison and several UPS employees in U.S. District Court this week for notarizing phony deeds in the Lamar Adams timber fraud scheme. The defendants are Herring Ventures, LLC, Austin Elsen, Tammie Elsen, Courtney Herring, Diane Lofton, and Chandler Westover.

The SEC is trying to claw back illegal profits earned by Lamar Adams and  promoters of a $164 million Ponzi scheme based on phony timber investments.   Receiver Alysson Mills represents the SEC. She will recover assets, distribute them among the victims, and provide progress reports to the court.

The Receiver claims the defendants "enabled" Adams to further his Ponzi scheme by notarizing the fake timber deeds each investor received for the investment.  The timber deed claimed they gave Madison Timber the right to harvest timber on the subject land in each  deed.  The Receiver's claim against UPS rests upon this crucial argument:

27. The timber deeds appeared to have been signed by the landowner, as grantor, and Lamar Adams for Madison Timber, as grantee. Below the two signatures, a notary attested to the signatures’ authenticity and affixed his or her notarial seal. The following is representative ofDefendants’ attestations:

However, the landowners  never "personally appeared" before the notary.  The landowners/grantors often did not exist.  "In all instances, the grantor-landowners' signatures were forged by Adams," said Ms. Mills.   She said the grantor's signature was the most "important mark" on the document.  Without the signature, the right to harvest the timber on the subject property would have been unenforceable by the investor.   Adams used several means to forge signatures:

sometimes Adams forged the grantors-landowners’ signatures before he presented the timber deeds to Defendants, such that it appeared that he or she had already signed. Other times Adams presented the deeds with a blank where the grantor-landowner would sign, such that it appeared that he or she would sign later. At no time, however, did any grantor-landowner sign the documents in Defendants’ presence.

31. Over the course of the Madison Timber Ponzi scheme, Adams fabricated fake timber deeds for thousands of investments—501 in the last year of Madison Timber’s operations.

A notary is barred from notarizing a document when the signature is blank or the signing party is not present. UPS offers notary services to the public.  Ms. Mills accuses the UPS notaries of participating in the conspiracy to defraud investors by notarizing phony timber deeds and signatures.

Ms. Mills charged the defendants with civil conspiracy, aiding and abetting, and gross negligence.  She charged the UPS Store in Madison with one count of negligent supervision and retention.  The complaint argues  UPS Store, Inc is liable for all damages awarded against the Madison store and its employees.

Ms. Mills already recovered $100,000 from UPS.  The Baker Boyz, Jon Seawright and Brent Alexander, sued UPS for similar claims, claiming they were victims in the Ponzi scheme.  They earned substantial commissions selling the phony timber investments as promoters for Lamar Adams.  However, the Receiver was having none of it.  She sued them for the $100,000 UPS settlement.  They ceded the funds to Ms. Mills.  The $100,000 will be used to offset any further damages awarded against UPS.  

 Related Posts
Court approves contingency fee arrangement for receiver.  
Receiver submits report.  
Court to approve sale of Lamar Adams home.  
Baker Boyz purge contempt.  
Tim-berrr! Receiver sues Patridge & Mom, Accuses Bankplus of RICO 
Baker Boyz Found in Contempt 
Baker Donelson swings ax again at SEC lawsuit.  
Baker Donelson tries to clear cut Receiver's lawsuit.  
More lawsuits coming in Lamar Adams case.  
Wife's Tree Falls in Lamar Adams Case
Butler Snow Asks Judge to Dismiss SEC Complaint in Lamar Adams Case.  
Ole Miss Repays Money in Lamar Adams Case 
Receiver sues Butler Snow & Baker Donelson
 Lamar Adams swindled over $164 million from victims in Ponzi scheme.  
Billings Battles Receiver 
Receiver goes after millions in commissions in timber Ponzi scheme.  
Receiver records $2 million.  
Lamar Adams Sentencing Postponed 
 Federal Home Cooking in Lamar Adams Case? 
Tree Falls Against Pinnacle in Lamar Adams Case 
WSJ Blasts Judge Reeves in Lamar Adams Case 
Judge to SEC & SOS: Not so Fast 
McHenry sues Lamar Adams, claims he was duped.  
A look into how the timber scheme worked.
SEC opposes Delbert's opposition.  
 SEC wants receiver in Ponzi scheme case, Delbert opposes.
Victim sues Timber Trolls 
Lamar Adams pleads guilty.  
SEC: Ponzi scheme began in 2004. 
Flashback Friday
Clearcutting the timber. 
Wicker wobbed in Ponzi scheme.
Pinnacle Trust issues statement on Ponzi scheme
Lamar Adams waives indictment.
Feds: Lamar Adams took over $100 million in Ponzi scheme.


Anonymous said...

They must've been really selective about this policy. I tried to get something notarized there about 3 yeara ago. They declined because my Drivers License had expired. Of course I didn't offer a tip. I bet he slipped them a Benjamin each visit.

Anonymous said...

Where does motion to enforce arbitration stand?

Anonymous said...

Sheeeeeit......once they start pressing those hourly wage employees, they'll roll over but quick to avoid penalties.

Anonymous said...

Now we know why Alexander and Seawright got a $100K settlement without breaking a sweat - but - unless one or more of the employees is independently wealthy, they are not a source of much direct monetary recovery. Mills must think there is a much deeper insurance/bond pool to dive into and/or she wants info more than she wants whatever chump change the personal Defs might be able to scrape together before bankruptcy becomes their choice.

If they recorded each notarization in their log book, that might be an interesting read, but it also might provide some evidence of lack of scienter. On the other hand, if they were taking anything of value to knowingly commit fraud, that could provide UPS with cover. If someone else brought any fake deeds in for notarization, that too would be interesting. I find it curious that: 1) Adams did not just forge the notary info, and 2) that all of these folks would know this was a scam yet put their names on all these deeds AND nothing ever leaked out. Five UPS Store clerks in on a hundred-million-plus scam with Lamar Adams and none of them getting stupid or mouthy just doesn't add up. Note that the notary language does not say that the parties actually signed the instrument in the presence of the notary but rather that they appeared and "acknowledged that they signed..." it. While it doesn't excuse the negligence, I can see UPS Store personnel stupidly but innocently trusting Adams and ignoring the rules. After all, while part of his scam was fueled by the greed of "investors," part was fueled by his willingness and ability to con lots of people into doing stupid stuff. I'd be curious to know if a person claiming to be the grantor was actually present when the fake deeds began to flow.

Whatever the reason for this filing, I cannot imagine Mills thinks the employees will be a source of much money so it will be interesting to watch this one unfold.

Anonymous said...

Leonard Goodgame.....

Should’ve went with Chris P. Bacon!!!!

I can’t breathe!

Anonymous said...

UPS will have insurance in place to cover these type allegations.

This is simply good lawyering on the part of Mills.

And it’s why she was upset with Baker thieves who sued ups and potentially closed this avenue of collection.

Most people have no idea how much insurance actually covers and no idea what triggers that coverage.

For example, OJ was defended by his home owners policy for a period of time.

Anon-E-Mouse said...

I’m not a notary. But doesn’t a notary only certify that the person signing a document is the person signing the document and not the validity of the document itself?

Freaking lawyer needs to get beaten if this is what happened.

Anonymous said...

"UPS will have insurance in place to cover these type allegations."


UPS well might supply elevated surety coverage, but I'm not so sure UPS is liable to anyone in this situation. There is no allegation that the "investors" relied upon UPS or even these notaries in any way and in fact, there is no allegation that the "investors" even had any specific knowledge at all about UPS or the notaries. In other words, it is unlikely that Adams told "investors" that they could trust the deeds because UPS notaries notarized them AND the investors then relied upon UPS or its notaries' notarization in any way. Moreover, I doubt negligently or improperly notarizing forged deeds is in the job description or expected duties nor were they ever asked to do such by UPS so the argument will likely be made that the notaries were acting well outside the scope of their employment by notarizing these deeds.

Now, if the surety is "per incident" and has a large limit (and there are 5 notaries) that would be a source of money worth pursuing. My guess is that if UPS and/or its surety paid the Baker Boys $100K, there will be or already is an offer on the table in this one. I wouldn't be shocked to see at least an attempt to argue that a full or partial good-faith settlement and full or partial release was already in place.

This has the potential to lay out a lot more of Adams' scam for all to see.

Anonymous said...

UPS is the franchisor. It won’t be held liable for the acts of its franchisee and its employees.

Anonymous said...

"It won’t be held liable..."

If you are an attorney, please self-report. If you are a layperson, West (or Google) is slam-f'ing-full of judges, justices, juries, attorneys, magistrates, boards, et al, doing things they "can't," "won't," should not, and "would never" do. Related is the maxim, "Never ask for justice lest you get more than you can handle."

Anonymous said...

A notary is certifying the person signing gave them some method of identification to make them reasonably certain that that is the person identified.

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS