Thursday, March 28, 2019

Baker Boyz Purge Contempt

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves purged a civil contempt order against Jon Seawright and Brent Alexander.  Judge Reeves found them in civil contempt of court last week after he determined they sued UPS for damages in the Lamar Adams case without his permission.  Mr. Seawright is partner at Baker Donelson while Mr. Alexander is a lobbyist for the firm.

 U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves appointed New Orleans attorney Alysson Mills to be the receiver in the case.  She is recovering assets for distribution to the victims.  Mills sued  to recover commissions from several "promoters" such as Alexander and Seawright. The promoters allegedly helped Adams sell his phony timber investments to unsuspecting investors. Ms. Mills also sued Baker Donelson and Butler Snow to recover damages.

Seawright and Alexander created a timber investment fund, Alexander Seawright Timber Fund I, in 2011 that would invest in Madison Timber. They began pitching the investments to Baker Donelson clients.  Ms. Mills claimed victims “reasonably believed” their investments in Madison Timber and Alexander Seawright Timber Fund I, were “backed and promoted by, and had been vetted by, Baker Donelson.” Earlier post with copy of complaint and more information.  Ms. Mills sued BD for conspiracy, aiding & abetting, gross negligence, and negligent retention and supervision.

The Baker Boyz  maintain they didn't know the timber investments were part of a Ponzi scheme and they were defrauded as well.  They pursued their own recovery against UPS.  The Receiver's motion for contempt stated:

on October 30, 2018, Alexander Seawright Timber Fund, LLC, acting under the direction of Jon Seawright and Brent Alexander, purported to “release, acquit and forever discharge” three notaries, the UPS store that employed them, the UPS store’s owners, and the UPS store’s insurer from “any and all actions … in any way of [sic] growing out of … [specified] signed notarized documents” for the sum of $100,000...

Understandably, many investors would like to independently pursue claims against third parties such as notaries, law firms, and banks—but they have respected this Court’s stay, mindful that the Receivership Estate must be permitted to do its work first. The Court’s stay is intended to preserve assets that otherwise could be picked apart...

It is bold of Jon Seawright and Brent Alexander, themselves facing potential liability for their roles in the Madison Timber Ponzi scheme, to purport to release for the sum of $100,000 valuable claims against a UPS store whose employees notarized the fake deeds and promissory notes that Jon Seawright and Brent Alexander turned around and gave to their own investors...
Judge Reeves agreed with Mills and found the Baker Boyz to be in civil contempt of court.  However, the defendants transferred the $100,000 UPS settlement funds to the Receiver on March 19.    The joint motion to purge the contempt stated:

5. The Receiver’s counsel separately wrote a letter to the UPS Store, among others, to advise that (1) the Receiver believes the settlement and related release agreement are void but in any event not binding on the Receivership Estate; (2) the Receiver will hold the aforementioned settlement funds and treat them as an offset to any liability the UPS Store and the other settling parties may have for future claims the Receivership Estate may bring against them; and (3) the Receiver’s holding of these settlement funds in no way constitutes any waiver of rights the Receivership Estate may have against the UPS Store and the other settling parties.

The Court approved the motion and took the Baker Boyz out of time-out. 

Related Posts
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...

No blood? Then there's no foul!

Anonymous said...

Damn guys, we got caught....again.

5 flocking pictures of click on the traffic light? C'mon KF, the Russians aren't colluding with JFP to trolls your website.

Anonymous said...

Unless the notaries fraudulently "witnessed" signatures, what possible liability could they have? A notary just says "I saw 'A' sign these documents," not "I state that the documents 'A' signed are valid." Someone please chime in if you know what happened here or was this one of those "they're associated with deep-pocket UPS, so we'll go after them too?" (Even then, I still don't see how a notary could have any culpability)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The release needs to be voided as well.....

Anonymous said...

206 - appears to be fairly clear if you've been keeping up. "A" didn't sign the deeds. There wasn't an "A". He/she didn't exist, just like the land and the timber didn't exist.

If there was no A", then the notary didn't see "A" sign the papers, which is what the notarization states actually happened. Therefore, the notary liability.

Anonymous said...

even if A actually signed the deed, so what? no title check, no recordation, etc. Its smoke. notary liability is a non sequitur

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that, 3:33.....I'm the one who axed the question. I'm no attorney and have no desire to pretend to be one. I'm left wondering, though, why a notary would do this unless appropriately compensated.

Anonymous said...

2:56 PM wrote, "The release needs to voided as well..."

A little late for that unless UPS agrees to it, and I'm not sure the court can order it at this point since the joint motion was filed and granted. The receiver may have sent a letter reserving rights, but accepting the funds from the releasors was an, er, interesting move. I haven't seen anything as to the circumstances surrounding the UPS Store notarizing the deeds for Adams (again, ADAMS, not Alexander-Seawright), so I don't know why UPS paid $100K, whether UPS would balk at an attempt to void the release or that Mills would want the settlement voided. It may have been a reasonable settlement as to the Alexander-Seawright parties, just paid to the wrong people.

Anonymous said...

Anyone figure out why Lamar is in Madison County????

Any new indictments coming?

Anonymous said...

5:27 pm

UPS was bound by an existing order staying all related matters.

They knew their employees notarized timber deeds and that there was litigation pending.

A federal judge can indeed rescind the terms of an agreement which was made in violation of a court order.

Contempt is not a term thrown around lightly.

The 100k has now been given to the receiver but that’s not the only thing ups is good for.

How this scheme worked is the larger issue....why use an off premises notary? You have dozens at your fingertip but you go to ups?

I’ve been practicing law for 25 years and I’ve never used a ups notary....ever....notarys are all over my office.

It’s a serious inconvenience is what I’m saying and it was done for a reason. The answer will shed light on the key point - prior knowledge of fraud.

Anonymous said...

8:07 You need to find a hobby or something.

Anonymous said...

8:07 Thsnks for the insight and informed opinion. It is very confusing and there are few outlets to get information. I have no financial stake in this, but, do know someone that does.

Anonymous said...

8:07 what part of Lamar Adams was the one going to the UPS store don't you understand?

Anonymous said...

@9:48 PM - You need to get your GED.

Anonymous said...

Attn 9:48 Contributor 8:07 could be the reason "Ole Miss law graduates" no longer are exempt from taking the Ms. bar exam.

Anonymous said...

7:47 AM wrote, "Attn 9:48 Contributor 8:07 could be the reason "Ole Miss law graduates" no longer are exempt from taking the Ms. bar exam."

I hate to say it, but I was thinking a similar thing. I well understand how Mississippi lawyers got mixed up with, and taken in by, something like this by someone like Adams.

Here's some advice laypeople can take from all of this: if someone offers you an "investment" they claim is certain, it is not. If someone offers you an "investment" they claim "beats the market," it is highly suspect. If someone offers something they claim is both, it is a scam. If you are greedy, the odds of being scammed go up exponentially. If you do not bother with due diligence, you will suffer for it.

Also, recall that the reporting and released information indicate that there were "investors" in over 10 states, so Mississippi statutes and law may not be controlling or applicable in many aspects of the unfolding debacle. I doubt Mills or the various feds know everything at this point (but they damned sure know more than what has been made public, either through reporting or filings), and I know those who are simply following the public information, including me, don't know enough to offer absolute opinions on much of it.

As examples: Adams got a notary at a UPS Store to notarize forged deeds, but under what circumstances and why did UPS pay $100k? Wicker (as one of the few known "investors") "invested" with Alexander-Seawright, but how and where was he solicited and how and from where did he fund his "investment"...? How did he receive his "profit," via checks mailed to him or by some other method, and where was that "profit" received and negotiated? It appears much of the Jackson-area transactional stuff amongst the various Jackson-area parties was done face-to-face, but at least some was not, either by mail or courier. I would suggest there are many, many facts from which allegations will be made that haven't been disclosed yet and as this thing unfolds it is going to get more convoluted and litigious, not less so. Making broad statements at this point is a sure way to be prove a rush to judgment is not a good way to go.

Anonymous said...

You people will speculate about anything. Nothing is off limits.

Anonymous said...

Why the connection to Wicker hasn't been investigated and covered in the local media is baffling......or perhaps said media is in his pocket no different than in 1940 Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, Lamar is on the way back to the Fed pen. He no longer shows up on the Madison roster and doesn't currently show up in the fed prison in forrest city Arkansas. Vacation over?

Anonymous said...

9:12 AM here. I didn't mention Wicker to "call him out," I simply used the name of one of the only known "investors" (and the only one whose name I know). Substitute the name of any "investor," especially from states other than Mississippi, and the same questions in my 9:12 reply would apply.

As to investigating Wicker or any other "investor," I would suggest that when the clawbacks begin in earnest, numerous interesting facts and allegations will become public. I would also suggest that things like this sideshow (the contempt motion and agreed purge) are merely among the initial housekeeping and low-hanging fruit, albeit with information and/or corroboration gleaned in the responses filed by the various defendants.

It could begin to get interesting if and when the reason for Adams' visit home becomes known. If I were urging the media to investigate something right now, Adams' visit here (or anywhere else) would be what I would urge.

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