Update November 15, 2023: Motion to Approve Second Distribution
On November 15, 2023, the Receiver filed a motion that asks the Court to approve a proposed second distribution.
The Receiver anticipates that the Court’s orders approving the proposed settlements, which were entered November 14, 2023, will become final on December 14, 2023 (30 days later, per Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure), and she wants to be in a position to distribute proceeds promptly.
Because the proposed second distribution will use the same method that this Court already approved, it is the Receiver’s position that the Court may approve it without hearing.
Nevertheless, anyone who wishes to object may submit a written objection directly to the Receiver within 14 days (on or before November 29, 2023), and she will file it in the Court’s record.
Update November 14, 2023: Settlements approved
On October 9, 2023, the Receiver filed a motion that asks the Court to approve proposed settlements totaling $19,200,000. The settling defendants, and the amounts they have agreed to pay, are as follows:
- BankPlus defendants (BankPlus; BankPlus Wealth Management, LLC; Gee Gee Patridge, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of BankPlus; Stewart Patridge; Jason Cowgill; Federal Insurance Company; and Continental Casualty Company): $6,500,000
- Trustmark defendants (Trustmark National Bank, Bennie Butts, and Jud Watkins): $6,500,000
- RiverHills defendants (RiverHills Bank and Jud Watkins): $3,500,000
- Tammy Vinson and Jeannie Chisholm (in full and complete settlement and release of them and their former employer Rawlings & MacInnis): $2,200,000
- Southern Bancorp Bank: $500,000
Baker Donelson and UPS (along with Herring Ventures, doing business as The UPS Store Madison, and the notary defendants that it employed) are not settling defendants.
Each proposed settlement requires not only the Court’s approval but also the entry of a “bar order.” A bar order would bar any person from separately asserting claims arising out of the Madison Timber Ponzi scheme against a settling defendant. Those claims instead would be “channeled” through the Receivership Estate.
Victims of the Madison Timber Ponzi scheme, as the ultimate beneficiaries of the Receivership Estate, have a substantial interest in the Receivership Estate’s settlement of claims against the settling defendants. The Court, mindful of this fact, agrees with the Receiver that interested parties should have an opportunity to be heard before any proposed settlement is approved.
The Court’s Order Setting Hearing provides that:
1. The Court shall hold a public hearing on the proposed settlement on November 6, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 5B of the Thad Cochran United States Courthouse, 501 E. Court Street, Jackson, Mississippi, 39201.
2. Anyone who wishes may submit a written comment, for or against a proposed settlement, at least seven days prior to the public hearing. Written comments may be submitted either to the Court or to the Receiver:
To the Court:
Judge Carlton Reeves Chambers
501 East Court Street, Suite 5.500
Jackson, Mississippi 39201
To the Receiver:
Alysson Mills, Receiver
650 Poydras Street, Suite 1525
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
3. Interested parties who wish to speak at the hearing may do so.
4. For more information, contact the Receiver directly or click here for: