Jonathan E. Perlman

Partner
Jonathan Perlman

Jonathan Perlman leads Venable’s Receivership Practice. Jonathan is frequently appointed by courts, and requested by regulatory agencies, to serve as receiver over businesses previously engaged in Ponzi schemes or other unlawful conduct, for the benefit of victims and creditors. He also represents other receivers and fiduciaries, including foreign representatives who have been appointed in a foreign insolvency proceeding or in Chapter 15 Bankruptcy Code matters, as well as victims and creditors. Recognized as a preeminent practitioner in this field, Jonathan frequently speaks and writes on receivership matters and is president of the National Association of Federal Equity Receivers (NAFER).

Jonathan is a seasoned litigator with over 30 years of experience handling complex individual client and class action litigation and arbitration matters on behalf of defendants and plaintiffs alike, including in the securities, franchise, hospitality, banking, accessibility, consumer rights, and employment arenas. Jonathan also served 14 years on the board of directors of a $1 billion community bank, where he chaired the compensation committee and served on its compliance and audit committees. This experience gives him a unique frontline perspective on management and industry issues, including those involving Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering compliance. Whether handling a complex litigation or receivership-bankruptcy-insolvency matter, Jonathan brings his broad experience to create and manage teams with the knowledge and skills best suited to each assignment’s needs.

Given his representation of receivers, trustees, committees, and defrauded investors, Jonathan has a great deal of experience investigating and pursuing claims in connection with all varieties of deceptive schemes, and in asset recovery matters. Over the years, he has developed relationships with counsel, investigators, and law enforcement in many other countries to assist in efficiently navigating the multijurisdictional and recent crypto asset issues with which he and his team are often presented.

Jonathan also regularly represents franchisors and distributors and has handled numerous actions under state franchise relationship and registration laws, as well as under the Lanham Act and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act and state deceptive and unfair trade practices acts.

In the securities litigation arena, Jonathan has represented investors, brokers, brokerage firms, and banks in federal and state courts and before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), self-regulatory organizations, and state banking authorities. He has successfully prosecuted (and defended against) class actions, obtaining millions of dollars for clients. He has also served as arbitrator chairperson for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Jonathan regularly lectures on and writes articles regarding receiverships, class actions, and franchise litigation. At the 2022 NAFER Annual Conference in Washington, DC, Jonathan produced and moderated NAFER’s first-ever Regulators Panel consisting of regulators from the SEC, the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC), and the FTC. At the 2021 NAFER Annual Conference in Los Angeles, Jonathan presented a fireside chat with the FTC’s chief litigation counsel. At the 2020 NAFER Offshore Conference, Jonathan was a panelist and moderator on “What’s New for Receivers Around the World”; at the 2019 International Franchise Association Legal Symposium, he spoke on Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility class actions and damages actions; and at the 2018 NAFER Annual Conference, he spoke on protection of receivership assets. Jonathan also spoke as a panelist in recent webinars, including a ThoughtLeaders4 international insolvency webinar on “Assembling the A Team” with an international panel (2021), “Has the Bell Tolled for FTC Receiverships?” (NAFER 2021), and “Takedowns and Takeaways in Federal Receiverships” (NAFER 2020).


Experience

Representative Matters

Notable Receivership Appointments

  • SEC v. TCA Fund Management Group Corp., et al., Case No. 1:20-cv-21964-CMA (S.D. Fla.). Appointed receiver over TCA Fund Management Group Corp, TCA Global Credit Master Fund, LP (Cayman), and TCA Global Credit Fund, LTD (Cayman) to take charge of a family of Cayman Islands-registered hedge funds with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia that SEC alleged had defrauded investors of hundreds of millions of dollars. Investigated, operated, and liquidated businesses, real estate, and other assets located in the United States and abroad, including the Cayman Islands, Sweden, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, London, Guernsey, Colorado, Florida, California, and Texas. At the time of appointment, receivership entities’ U.S. bank accounts had a combined balance of less than $300,000. Approximately $70 million has been brought into the receivership to date, and the court approved the receiver’s rising tide distribution plan
  • SEC v. Creative Capital Consortium, LLC, et al., Case No. 08-cv-81565-DTKH (S.D. Fla.). Appointed receiver by court over various entities that perpetrated a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme involving 110 feeder investment clubs. Receiver brought 30 lawsuits against those who received fraudulent transfers or aided the scheme for the benefit of defrauded investors, and successfully prosecuted appeals before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate substantial claims against Bank of America and Wells Fargo, followed by a jury trial against Wells Fargo. Receiver ultimately paid victims over 36% of their losses. The receivership court stated at the end of the receivership case: “The receiver has done an extraordinary job.… You and your law firm deserve an enormous amount of credit … and I can’t tell you the admiration I have for the effort that has been exerted here.… You set standards for the entire Bar”
  • FTC and State of Florida v. 321 Loans, Jeremy Lee Marcus, et al., Case No. 0:17-cv-60907-FAM (S.D. Fla.). Appointed receiver in a case brought by the FTC and the Florida attorney general over numerous entities engaged in an over $80 million debt relief scheme, receiver and counsel expanded receivership to include 23 entities, and successfully brought into the receivership over $32 million in cash, real estate, and personal property. The court had this to say about the receiver’s initial report filed in the first week of the case: “I find the Receiver has done an incredible job, amazing work with the very little time afforded to the Receiver. And I appreciate the effort and the depth and the quality of the information in that report”
  • FTC and State of Florida v. VGC Corporation of America, et al., Case No. 1:11-cv-21757-JEM (S.D. Fla.). Appointed receiver over VGC Corporation of America, All Dream Vacations Corp., and related entities. Despite taking over an insolvent estate whose principals filed for bankruptcy, the receiver and counsel, by bringing suit against a financial institution on what was then a novel theory—on contingency fee—obtained a significant recovery for victims
  • Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. GDP Network LLC, et al., Case No: 6:20-cv-01192-WWB (M.D. Fla.). Appointed receiver over GDP Network LLC, G & G Success LLC, and G & N Squared LLC in an enforcement action brought by the FTC and the Florida Attorney General’s Office, in a case where receivership entities ran a multi-million-dollar nationwide credit card interest rate reduction scam in violation of the FTC Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The matter required the receiver and the team to conduct immediate in-person access of three locations during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • FTC v. Pointbreak Media, LLC, et al., Case No. 0:18-cv-61017-CMA (S.D. Fla.). Appointed receiver over Pointbreak Media, LLC and related entities in a telemarketing and robocall operation in which defendants falsely claimed an affiliation with Google®, threatened businesses with removal from Google’s search engine, and promised first-page placement in Google search results
  • FTC v. World Patent Marketing, Inc., et al., Case No. 1:17-cv-20848-DPG (S.D. Fla.). Appointed receiver over DESA Industries, Inc. and World Patent Marketing in an invention promotion scheme in which the acting U.S. attorney general had been involved as advisory board member, company counsel, and product pitch man

Court Decisions

  • SEC v. TCA Fund Management Group Corp., et al., No. 20-21964-CIV-Altonaga, 2022 WL 3334488, Aug. 4, 2022 (granting Receiver Perlman’s motion for approval of distribution plan and first interim distribution over objections of Cayman-recognized joint official liquidators)
  • FTC v. PointBreak Media, LLC, 343 F. Supp. 3d 1282 (S.D. Fla. 2018) (granting Receiver Perlman’s motion for turnover of electronic devices and overruling objections under Fourth and Fifth Amendments)
  • Perlman v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 559 F. App’x 988 (11th Cir. 2014) (reversing dismissal of claims by receiver appointed in SEC enforcement action, holding that receiver stated plausible aiding and abetting and fraudulent transfer claims against financial institution based on its role in a Ponzi scheme)
  • Perlman v. Bank of Am., N.A., 561 F. App’x 810 (11th Cir. 2014) (reversing dismissal of receiver’s aiding and abetting and fraudulent transfer claims based on bank’s “mere conduit” affirmative defense)
  • Perlman v. Bank of Am., N.A., No. 11-CV-80331, 2014 WL 12300315 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 10, 2014) (granting receiver’s motion to compel production of bank’s investigative files related to Ponzi scheme and overruling in part bank’s objections based on the Bank Secrecy Act)
  • Perlman v. Bank of Am., N.A., No. 11-80331-CV, 2014 WL 12279513 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 19, 2014) (granting receiver’s motion to strike certain affirmative defenses to aiding and abetting and fraudulent transfer claims)
  • Perlman v. Delisfort-Theodule, No. 09-80480-CIV, 2010 WL 4514249 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 2, 2010), aff’d, 451 F. App'x 846 (11th Cir. 2012) (awarding fraudulent transfer judgment in favor of receiver against Ponzi scheme insider)
  • SEC v. Creative Capital Consortium, LLC, No. 08-81565-CIV, 2010 WL 11483358 (S.D. Fla. June 2, 2010) (denying motion to vacate order compelling production of bank records related to a Ponzi scheme)

Other Representative Engagements

  • Successfully prosecuted nationwide class action against national brokerage firm under the Fair Labor Standards Act on behalf of all sales assistants
  • Represented oil company that owned and operated over 3,000 gasoline stations in nationwide class action brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Represented franchisors in multiple national and state-wide ADA class actions, including in California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and elsewhere
  • Successfully defended multiple class and collective actions brought against franchisors, claiming overtime pay and other wage-hour violations
  • Successfully enforced Lanham Act and other trademark rights enjoining unauthorized use of trademarks and enforcing system menu and facility requirements
  • Represented franchisor in suit validating its right to set maximum prices for system products
  • Represented franchisor against claims arising from refusal to approve transfer of franchisee’s businesses, including a summary judgment on a $24 million claim involving 29 restaurants
  • Represented various franchisor clients on disclosure issue claims, claims under numerous state franchise acts, and those relating to federal UFOC issues
  • Successfully defended franchisee “encroachment” claims concerning alleged violations of territorial rights

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. University of Florida College of Law 1988
  • B.S. cum laude Duke University 1985
    • Special Distinction in Psychology

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • President, National Association of Federal Equity Receivers
  • Member, Finance, Nominating, Regulatory Outreach, Judicial Outreach, Annual Conference, and International (co-chair 2020) Committees, National Association of Federal Equity Receivers
  • Member, INSOL International
  • Member, American Bar Association Forum on Franchising
  • Member, International Franchise Association
  • Member, National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees
  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Member, Bankruptcy Bar Association, Southern District of Florida, American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Member, Florida Bar Association
  • Member, Business Law Section and Business Section’s Bankruptcy/UCC Committee
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, Public Investors Advocate Bar Association (PIABA)
  • Member, Miami-Dade County Bar Association
  • Member, Coral Gables Bar Association

Recognition
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  • Franchise Times, Legal Eagle
  • Who’s Who Legal, Who’s Who Among U.S. Attorneys
  • Super Lawyers, 2006, 2014 – 2022
  • Law & Politics, Top Lawyer in Securities
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Peer Review Rated

Community
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Volunteerism

  • Member, Foundation Board of Directors, Florida International University, 2012 – 2021
  • Director and past president, South Florida Duke University Alumni Association
  • Member, Admissions Advisory Committee, Duke University