Zeek Rewards: Receiver Opposes Attorney’s Charging Liens

RECEIVER’S OBJECTION TO COUNSEL’S NOTICE OF ATTORNEY’S CHARGING LIEN AND REQUEST FOR ORDER IN AID OF DISTRIBUTION

Kenneth D. Bell, Court-appointed Receiver (“Receiver”) of Rex Venture Group, LLC d/b/a ZeekRewards.com (“RVG” or “Receivership Defendant”), by and through counsel, respectfully submits this Objection to Marc R. Michaud’s “Notice of Attorney’s Charging Liens” (the “Notice”). 1 (Doc. No. 258). The Receiver respectfully requests that the Court strike the Notice and the liens asserted therein from the docket or, in the alternative, decline to rule on the validity of these liens and confirm that the Receiver may distribute the proceeds free and clear of any third-party claim.
The Notice appears to be an attempt by Mr. Michaud to circumvent the Court’s prior orders regarding this issue and insert himself as the recipient of money that belongs to victims. In directly rejecting Mr. Michaud’s prior attempts to obtain this money before his clients, the Court determined that the Receiver should distribute this money directly to victims without regard to any interest asserted by a third-party. Order Approving Claims Process (Doc No. 199 at 9); Order Granting Motion for Reconsideration and/or Clarification (Doc No. 221 at 1–2). As set forth more fully below, this case is simply not the appropriate forum for the resolution of third-party claims to distribution proceeds.

Mr. Michaud represents the “Belsome Plaintiffs” in Belsome v. Rex Venture Group LLC, No. 3:12-cv-800 (W.D.N.C. 2012). That action was transferred from Eastern District of Louisiana and then stayed by order of this Court.

Additionally, the Receiver respectfully requests that the Court enter an order directing Mr. Michaud to immediately and without any further delay provide the Receiver with the addresses of those victims whom he purports to represent. The Court has already addressed this issue when, in addressing Mr. Michaud’s most recent motion regarding the distributions, the Court specifically directed claimants to “amend the address on the Claim Portal to provide the claimant’s actual address.” (Doc No. 221 at 1). Three months have passed since the Court entered this Order and only eight claims have been amended to provide the claimant’s actual address. Hundreds of other claims continue to list Patrick Miller LLC (Mr. Michaud’s law office) as their mailing address. Although Mr. Michaud has repeatedly maintained that his representation of these victims includes helping them navigate the claims portal, he apparently does not consider complying with this Order and changing these addresses within the scope of such representation. Unfortunately for these victims, because these addresses were not changed, they did not receive their portion of the first distribution. 2

2Mr. Michaud’s refusal to comply with the Court’s Order and provide these claimants’ addresses through the Claims Portal may constitute a violation of both the Louisiana and North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct. It appears that Mr. Michaud refused to provide these addresses in the hopes of securing a lien on the proceeds before it was distributed to claimants. However, both the Louisiana and North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit attorneys from placing their own financial interests before those of their clients.

I have uploaded the full filing here.