MILLIONS IN DEBTORS’ ASSETS FROZEN BY WCZ ATTORNEYS AFTER UNCOVERING COMPLICATED WEB OF FRAUDULENT TRANSFERS
Winter Capriola Zenner LLC (“WCZ”) attorneys Richard J. Capriola and Eric B. Coleman, on behalf of a Georgia community bank, successfully froze millions of dollars of a debtor’s assets, including bank accounts, investment accounts, business interests, and real estate, after uncovering a complicated web of fraudulent transfers. Superior Court Judge W. Kendall Wynne, Jr. entered an Order freezing the assets of a judgment debtor, his wife, and his businesses, and appointed a special master to audit the debtors’ assets and enforce the asset freeze following a two-day long evidentiary hearing in Walton County on the bank’s motion.
The judgment debtor personally guaranteed a multi-million dollar development loan. Following the market crash, WCZ litigated the note and guaranty, won summary judgment in favor of the bank, and successfully defended an appeal and petition for certiorari to the Georgia Supreme Court.
But before and during the pending litigation, WCZ attorneys uncovered a series of fraudulent transfers whereby the judgment debtor completely divested himself of all of his assets. The judgment debtor transferred real estate, bank accounts, and investment accounts to his wife. He created new companies in Delaware and transferred his business interests into those companies. And he set up multiple trusts with his son as the trustee and his wife as the beneficiary to hold his assets. The judgment debtor continued to enjoy his assets, while believing that they were protected from the bank’s judgment.
WCZ attorneys Richard J. Capriola and Eric B. Coleman uncovered the fraudulent transfers, and through a diligent, multi-year search, including third-party discovery from multiple banks, attorneys, financial planners, investment brokers, and a few Fortune-500 companies, the fraud was exposed. Armed with evidence of multiple fraudulent transfers, WCZ moved the Court to pierce the attorney-client privilege between the debtor and his “estate-planning” attorney. The Court ordered that over a hundred pages of confidential memoranda from the debtor’s attorney outlining a complex scheme to defraud the bank by moving the assets beyond the reach of the bank be turned over to WCZ based on the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege.
With the attorneys’ memoranda and other evidence, WCZ exposed the debtor’s scheme and moved the Court to freeze the debtors’ assets pending trial, and the Court granted the asset freeze, appointing a special master to enforce the freeze and conduct a forensic accounting of the debtor’s assets. The case settled shortly thereafter for a confidential sum.
Any judgment creditor should consider whether the judgment debtor is evading collection. If a judgment debtor tries to fraudulently avoid the creditors’ right to collect its judgment, the ramifications for the judgment debtor can be dire.
Winter Capriola Zenner LLC, located in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, is a firm experienced in meeting the needs of creditors, including banks, other financial institutions, and businesses. The firm can be reached at (404) 844-5700 or by email to Eric at email@example.com or Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org