Fla.’s ‘Mother Teresa’ Arrested For $190M Ponzi Scheme

 By Carolina Balido

August 25, 2023

Bernice C. Lee

The former CEO of MJ Capital, Johanna Garcia — dubbed Florida’s “Mother Teresa” for helping companies get short-term financing — was arrested Friday on accusations she ran a $190 million investment Ponzi scheme through the company.

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MJ Capital Funding

Bernice Lee serves as the Receiver over MJ Capital Funding, LLC and three related entities in a federal case brought by the SEC that involves a $200 million Ponzi scheme. Promoters misrepresented to investors that their funds would be used to provide merchant cash advances but instead the funds were used to pay alleged returns to investors, and commission and fees to promoters. The Receiver has recovered $16.6 million of which $7.5 million was obtained through voluntary surrender and turnover, worked with investor class representatives to obtain a $26.625 million settlement with a financial institution under which Bernice is the settlement administrator and anticipates disbursing at least $19.5 million to victim investors, and formulated a claims submission process for the receivership and settlement fund through which more than 14,000 claims have been submitted.

Jorge L. Piedra’s Meteoric Rise: 4 Years to Managing Partner

By Laura Willis

August 21, 2023

Jorge L. Piedra

Jorge Piedra is an outstanding trial lawyer, said Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton co-founding partner Harley Tropin.

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Fla. Powerhouses Lead Way In Increasingly Crowded Market

By Carolina Bolado

August 18, 2023

The firms honored as Law360’s 2023 Florida Powerhouses range from a single-office firm with a couple of dozen lawyers to one of the largest law firms in the world, but what they have in common is a long history in, and deep understanding of, their home state, which has positioned them as leaders in…

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3rd-Party Releases In Ch. 11 May Die At Supreme Court

By Carolina Bolado

August 14, 2023

David L. Rosendorf

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to look at the nonconsensual liability releases against the Sackler family in Purdue Pharma’s Chapter 11 plan, bankruptcy experts say the current set of justices, with their textualist bent, could put an end to a tool practitioners have used for decades to get to resolutions in bankruptcy.

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A Panel Just Consolidated an Insulin MDL—Meet the Lawyers Leading the Charge

By Lisa Willis

August 4, 2023

Benjamin J. Widlanski

“This may turn into one of the most significant cases in recent history,” attorney Benjamin J. Widlanski said.

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