Wed Feb 8 15:38:21 EST 2023
Home#HouseofFraudNFN Bankruptcy Trustee Clears The Air

NFN Bankruptcy Trustee Clears The Air

Five Years After The Involuntary Bankruptcy of NFN Is There Any End In Sight?

The agonizing five year long and counting Involuntary Bankruptcy of NFN  has finally turned its focus on Shari Nott. Nott was the on again, off again — depending on jurisdiction — CEO of National Management and Preservation Services LLC d/b/a National Field Network. The original Involuntary Bankruptcy, filed in 2017, only tells half of the story, though. Foreclosurepedia began reporting on the defraudment of Labor all the way back in 2014, three years before any of the alarm bells were ringing throughout the Industry. It was during this time that the height of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) member attacks on Labor, by and through financial terrorism, was peaking and fraud was prolifically being documented with a NAMFS board member going belly up for millions and its general membership doing much of the same. To that point, the Axis of Evil between Buczek Enterprises, NFN, and SEAS with spider linking nodes to virtually all other Top Ten NAMFS members of the time, was startling. And it wasn’t simply Foreclosurepedia making the statements and documenting the fraud, even Jack Jaffa was being legally challenged in a tit for tat flurry of litigation in Kings County, New York. It was ironic that the litigation being leveled against Jack Jaffa, Shari Nott, and NFN was by a gentleman claiming a seventeen percent (17%) ownership stake in the Company. A company, we might add, which never paid a penny in income tax.

In June of 2014, Sam Stern filed a lawsuit against Jack Jaffa (also known as Jack Y Jaffa and Yona Joffa) as well as Shari Nott claiming a seventeen percent ownership stake in National Management and Preservation Services LLC d/b/a National Field Network. Stern stated that from 2013 – 2014 NFN had made over $2,000,000 in profits, alone and that by 2014 the valuation of NFN was at least $5,000,000.

The private correspondence which flew back and forth between the lawyers was comical. A great quote from Madeline Greenblatt, Berg & David PLLC, whom represented Stern, to Jaffa’s lawyer, Jacob J. Schindelheim, Esq. (no bullshit all of them at his firm use Esquire) from Koss & Schoenfeld, LLP went like this and I quote,

Your rejection mischaracterizes the service rendered upon Mr. Stern and utterly misstates the statutory time frame regulating the filing of Mr. Stern’s Answer. Indeed your rejection highlights a complete ignorance of the relevant law. — Bold and color added by Editor.

And while Ms Greenblatt has moved on to Farrell Fritz PC, two things stood out to me about the Wrecking Crew over at Koss & Schoenfeld, LLP. 1) Their photo line up on their website here, looks like something out of the Great Depression; and 2) Google has listed their site as Not Secure and cautions, “Something is severely wrong with the privacy of this site’s connection. Someone might be able to review the information you send or get through this site.” I mean this is not the kind of image I would want to convey of confidence and trust to my Clients if I were an attorney. If it ended there, no party no foul. But, like a page out of a comedic Meyer Lansky novel, it gets more B Rate, by the moment. Here is a page on Jaffa’s lawyer’s website entitled Nullam Dictum. The problem, though, is not one, not two, not three, but SIX PAGES of their proverbial Beastie Boys Turned Lawyers website are amateur hour! Here is Temporbus Autem. Next comes, Quis Autem Vel. Building on that, it seems to be the Hazy Dayz of Law School’s Greatest Hits with Blanditiis Praesentium, Viverra Quis, Et Harum Quidem, Donec Pede Justo, Odio DignissimosNeque Quisquam, and Similique Sunt. There were more, I just simply felt bad for the Simchet Trio and stopped counting. I mean you just cannot make this shit up! And to be clear, as professionals whom are accustomed to performing due diligence, they should have known about this. To put this in layman’s terms, the Diligent Trio’s website is WordPress. Each of the aforementioned pages has what we call lorem ipsum. It is a placeholder for when the web developer is supposed to come back and either delete or replace code. Here is a better explanation from Wikipedia,

In publishing and graphic design, Lorem ipsum is a placeholder text commonly used to demonstrate the visual form of a document or a typeface without relying on meaningful content. Lorem ipsum may be used as a placeholder before final copy is available.

I digress. Of note in the allegations in the Kings County case against Jaffa and Nott was a common theme that seemed misplaced as I have followed the original docket in the NFN Involuntary Bankruptcy: 1) Jaffa refused to return calls or correspond with respect to requests for access to the accounts and bookkeeping; 2) Jaffa and Nott used every tool available which lawyers have in order to keep victims from getting their money; and 3) That Jaffa and Nott enriched themselves at other people’s expense. Look, the amount of profane legal gymnastics, which keeps the billing machine writing checks with victim’s money, is part and parcel the mechanics of the legal exploitation of Labor — that is part of the game. Five years, though, is five years too many! In fact, I have been hard pressed to find any bankruptcies of this size that have had multiple Trustees as well as extending this long!

Foreclosurepedia decided to reach out to the current Trustee — yes, more than one has been appointed as well as terminated — handling the bankruptcy. I have never made any bones about my contempt for the legal profession and especially after my Motion to Intervene was filed into this case. To that point, though, the end may be soon — and in more ways than one. Andrea Dobin is a Partner at McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC. She was next up to bat as the Trustee after Bunce Atkinson, the first and original Chapter 7 Trustee, was terminated back in 2020, according to the docket statement. Atkinson represented himself along with Dobin and Anthony Sodono, III of McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC  — all representing good ‘ol Bunce. Dobin is also accompanied by, yes, more Trustees. Lauren Bielskie hails as the US Trustee from the Department of Justice. And then the lawyers all representing each other such as Gianna M Casola, representing Ms Dobin; Michele M. Dudas representing Ms Dobin; and Ms Dobin representing herself. That final part is not a typo, by the way. You have David E. Shaver whom originally represented the Petitioning Creditors in the Involuntary Bankruptcy — now called unsecured creditors because, I guess they opened their mouths and filed suit. He did some ambulance chasing on a few other folks to bring them into the case, but the reality is that no one has heard from him in years according to one of the original Petitioners. You have — or had depending on how you read it — Brian L. Baker and Chad Brian Friedman of Ravin Greenberg, LLC whom represented or represents NFN, the Debtor. But wait, there are MORE! Shari Nott and Jack — multiple aka’s — Jaffa all had lawyers along with Crandell and whom knows how many more. All billable along with accountants, paralegals, clerks — hell, the deli guy could have gotten paid for all I know.

Look, there is no love lost between any of these lawyers and myself. Take a simple read through my Motion To Intervene and the subsequent filings when lawyers from all sides assailed my legal rights as a journalist — simply because they did not want transparency! I went toe-to-toe and those lawyers showed themselves to be precisely what they are. To that point, I would state that the Unsecured Creditor’s Committee — I guess this is what they call you when you lose millions as Labor while the white collar suits at NFN got paid — probably has even less love for the lawyers than myself.

Five years. I want that number to stick in your head. Five years and while the feeding frenzy of billing has gone on, unabated, not single dime to Labor. Candidly, if lawyers do not like what I say it is not a new or unique view. In fact, according to William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2. “Society has hated lawyers since the dawn of time.” With that said, though, Ms Dobin was kind enough to answer a few questions with certain demands — ah, the lawyers! And ironically, the below quote was placed specifically after I stated, “I thank you for your time and tireless effort in the process.” I bullshit you not!

Finally, if you are intending to repeat my answers on your website or anywhere else, please quote me in the entirety.

So, I am going to republish the email, verbatim, so as not to have any issues with the Trustee, using the color she chose of red and mine in original black.

FORECLOSUREPEDIA: I appreciate the reply. I was rather surprised that I had received a mailing and honestly found the Settlement with Deutch to be bittersweet. In all the interviews I had, he was probably the most hated by the victims. In fact, he threatened me for originally writing the article which led to the case at hand.

I think there are really only several questions which appear unanswered from my reading of the docket. And as we are coming up on the 5th year, it would seem appropriate to revisit the case from my point-of-view to give a better idea to those still remaining in the Industry, what the status of the case is. Many things have changed since this filing. We have had a global pandemic, a regional war, two new Presidents … I mean it really puts into perspective the length of time that NFN has been able to stretch this out.

I was going through my notes from several years ago, and it appeared to me that the one missing element in the entirety of the case was Shari Nott. Are you able to advise what the difficulties have been with respect to bringing her to Court and whether or not she will ever be compelled to make any sort of restitution? Unless I have missed it somewhere, 2020 was the last time any mention of her in the docket was made and that was via a Motion To Compel.

DOBIN:  We sued Jack Jaffa and Shari Nott (and Christopher Crandell) in the same complaint. If you look at the docket in Adversary No. 20-1648 you will get up to speed on what has been going on. The recent delay has been caused by her last-minute decision to get an expert and the expert’s need for more time. Trial is expected to be scheduled in the Spring.

FORECLOSUREPEDIA: In a notice that I received yesterday, it would appear that Mr Deutch is closing his practice. As he was Counsel to NFN, I am presuming that he held in trust funds which NFN had remaining. If correct, has an accurate accounting been made of how much money there was originally and now remaining, if any? Building on that, as the allegations of preferential and fraudulent transfers have been made, will Mr Deutch be referred to the NJ Bar for any type of Ethics hearing?

DOBIN: Neither fraudulent transfers nor preferences are per se ethically improper. Fraudulent transfers are not actually fraud necessarily – “constructive fraud” just means that the recipient got more money than they were entitled to receive. As I have said to folks in the past, “a gift is a fraudulent transfer and vice versa”. Furthermore if there IS fraud, the “fraud” is on the part of the giver, not the recipient. So if you want to paint someone with the title “fraud”, it would be NFN, not Deutch. I am not defending him by any means, but this is the way it works. In sum, there is no basis on which to make an ethics referral, particularly since the transfers were made to the law firm and not the individual.

We have finished reviewing the Deutch trust account. You can see the resolution of some of it at Docket Entry 317 in the main case. We also addressed what Deutch received as part of the complaint against him. We already won that part. Look at docket entry 36 in the Deutch adversary proceeding.

FORECLOSUREPEDIA: Five years is quite a long time for a bankruptcy. Ironically, the only person whom has been paid, thus far, is the owner of NFN, Jack Jaffa, unless I have misread the docket. I am curious when and how the lawyers are paid and whether or not there is any anticipation that any money will be remaining for the victims and if there is any ballpark idea when this proceeding will finally come to and end?

DOBIN: Also, it appears you may have misunderstood what happened with Jack Jaffa. He has paid $300,000 to the bankruptcy estate. See the summary of the settlement at docket 33 in Adv. No. 20-1648. And his request to be allowed and/or paid an administrative claim was denied. See docket no. 298 in the main case.

Finally, my law firm is paid from the money recovered after the fees are approved by the Bankruptcy Court. The last time I paid my law firm was in September, 2022. The fee order is docket no. 322 in the main case. I have recovered substantial money and still have substantial funds on deposit even after paying my law firm. I hope to add to that from Shari Nott and Victor Deutch. Only after I maximize my recovery from them will this case be ready for closure and creditors who filed timely proofs of claim will receive distribution from the funds available based on the priority scheme of the Bankruptcy Code.

FORECLOSUREPEDIA: I thank you for your time and tireless effort in the process.

DOBIN: Finally, if you are intending to repeat my answers on your website or anywhere else, please quote me in the entirety.

FORECLOSUREPEDIA: I had two follow up questions before I finish out my rough draft. Are Ms Nott’s lawyers and expert witnesses compensated from the funds that the company has, had or by any funds other than those other than her own personal funds?

DOBIN: I don’t know how or who is paying them, but I can assure you that they are not being paid from the funds in the bankruptcy estate.

FORECLOSUREPEDIA: And finally, when the dust settles, can you tell me whom gets money first? What I mean is that there have been several trustees, including yourself, accountants, other lawyers, etc. So, do the original 3 including Cole, et al., get funds first as they filed suit or what is the pecking order?

DOBIN: The bankruptcy code sets the order of priorities in section 726 and 507. First are professionals that provided service to the Chapter 7 estate (me and my professionals), then the professionals and trade creditors that provided service to the Chapter 11 debtor (NFN’s professionals are at this level). Then parties that have properly asserted “priority claims” (taxes, wages, etc.) as defined by 507. Then general unsecured creditors (the unsecured claims of the petitioning creditors are not given their own priority for simply having initiated the involuntary). It is all laid out in section 726 (which refers you back to 507). Trustees are paid a commission calculated based upon the funds disbursed. Since the prior trustee did not disburse any money to creditors of any type, I have taken the position that he is not entitled to a commission.

Always a Friend of Labor, Foreclosurepedia’s thoughts and prayers go out to the victims in this case, the innocent men, women, and children of Labor whom have suffered for five long and arduous years while Jaffa, Nott, Crandell, Deutch, and others thumbed their noses at both the Court and Labor and lived high on the hog!

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