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Monday, July 15, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

11 Years Later, Scammers Owe Class Counsel $4M

MIAMI (CN) - A federal judge awarded about $4 million in attorneys' fees and costs to a class that sued over the massive Ponzi scheme operated by Cash 4 Titles.

The Securities and Exchange Commission shut down the scam, which was also known as C4T Management, in 1999. Regulators said the bond-marketing scheme bilked 2,500 investors for $315 million.

Two years later, the Bank of Bermuda offered $67.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the court-appointed receiver and a class action filed in Florida by lead plaintiff Robert Wolf, according to the SEC.

U.S. District Judge James Cohn noted that an amended default judgment entered in 2007 gave Wolf and the other plaintiffs $330 million in treble damages. In the litigation to enforce that judgment, the defendants transferred $14 million to class counsel in March 2012.

Two months later, the court entered an order awarding fees and expenses that granted the class a fee advancement of $1 million.

Cohn granted their demand on Oct. 25 for more than $3.7 million in attorneys' fees and $112,000 for out-of-pocket expenses.

"Class counsel worked solely on a contingency basis, and were therefore fully exposed to the risk of an adverse outcome," the decision states. "They not only had to win a judgment in this Court, but also had to litigate in Bahamian courts to ensure recovery. They logged 7,753 billable hours on this case, and the fee requested represents only a 1.4% multiplier over the ordinary time value of those hours."

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