MANHATTAN (CN) – A federal class action claims the court-appointed receiver for Marc Dreier’s law firm, Dreier LLP, first ordered the attorneys to keep working and then laid them off without paying their wages due or accrued vacation time.
In a related development, a federal judge on Thursday agreed to release Dreier from jail to house arrest with around-the-clock guards.
Lead plaintiff Stephanie Leibert, formerly an associate attorney at Dreier LLP, says defendant Mark Pomerantz was appointed receiver of the firm in “early December” 2008, thereby becoming her employer. She says Pomerantz ordered her and other attorneys to keep working though he knew the firm’s assets were frozen and he would not have the money to pay them. Pomerantz also told her “that her unemployment benefits would be challenged if (she) did not continue to work,” according to the complaint.
She was laid off on Dec. 15, 2008, along with the rest of the class. She says they were not paid for the roughly two weeks that Pomerantz ordered them to work, nor for her accrued “paid time off.”
She demands the class be paid for its work, plus 25%, and interest, under New York labor law. She is represented by Mark Lubelsky.
Marc Dreier, founder of the 250-attorney firm, was arrested in Canada in December, accused of selling hundreds of millions of dollars of promissory notes and other financial paper through fraud, forgery, and impersonations.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff on Thursday agreed to release Dreier from jail on unsecured, $10 million personal recognizance bond, subject to electronic monitoring and 24-hour-a-day armed guards. Dreier, 58, has been in jail since he was arrested in Toronto on Dec. 7.