Attorney Melanie Damian, court-appointed receiver for the Estate of the Hunter Wise Entities, recently obtained a $750,000 settlement from the former directors and officers of the Hunter Wise entities. Ms. Damian, of Damian & Valori, LLP, was appointed receiver when Hunter Wise, which traded in precious metals for private customers, was shut down and its principals charged by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Enforcement with violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodities Exchange Act.
The $750,000 settlement was approved by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, which has authorized Ms. Damian to begin using the settlement proceeds, along with previously collected funds, to pay allowed claim holders who were defrauded by the Hunter Wise Entities. District Court Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks, who approved the settlement, previously found that the Hunter Wise Entities and their principals had knowingly defrauded more than 3,200 retail customers over a 16 month period of time. Among other things, Hunter Wise offered precious metals for sale and advised customers that the metals would be stored safely in a secured depository for which customers were charged a storage fee. In fact, there were no metals and there was no depository. Judge Middlebrooks, in a 58-page opinion that documented the various acts of fraud, ordered the Entities to pay restitution as well as civil penalties.
Ms. Damian, as Receiver, continues to actively pursue the recoupment of funds from other Hunter Wise affiliated individuals and entities across the country and abroad. Her goal is to maximize the value of the Receivership Estate in order to provide as much reimbursement as possible to those investors who were victims of the fraud perpetrated by the Hunter Wise Entities.
The attorneys at Damian & Valori, LLP, have served as court-appointed equity receivers and distribution agents for many years in cases arising from enforcement actions brought by the CFTC as well as other governmental regulatory and enforcement agencies. In addition to themselves acting as receivers, the attorneys have extensive experience acting as legal counsel to receivers and in private causes of actions involving different types of businesses and disputes.
Ms. Damian, along with other members of her firm acting as receivers or counsel to receivers, has a track record of successfully recovering millions of dollars in funds and assets that are used to reimburse defrauded investors.