FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Joseph Wielebinski

Joseph Wielebinski

Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C.

Dallas, TX, USA


EXPERIENCE

Joe has significant experience with bankruptcy, creditors' rights and financial restructuring and he is active in a variety of complex restructuring, insolvency and bankruptcy cases.  As part of the Firm’s Fraud & Asset Recovery group, Joe has represented numerous victims in matters involving complex financial fraud, theft, money laundering and other white collar crimes. Joe has served as a Federal District Court receiver at the request of the SEC in cases involving national and cross-border fraud schemes.

Joe is the Executive Director Emeritus of ICC-FraudNet, a London based invitation-only organization, consisting of lawyers throughout the world who have significant experience in complex commercial fraud and offshore asset identification and recovery. Joe is a member of the: International Bar Association, International Association for Asset Recovery, American Bankruptcy Institute, Turnaround Management Association and recently served on the Law360 Editorial Advisory Board.

MEMBERSHIPS & AFFILIATIONS

  • FraudNet, U.S. Member and Executive Director (Emeritus)
  • International Bar Association, Creditors' Rights and Insolvency Section
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Dallas Bar Association, Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section (Past President)
  • State Bar of Texas, Bankruptcy Law Section
  • Turnaround Management Association, Past President of the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter and Former National Board of Directors Member

AWARDS & HONORS

  • Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights Super Lawyers—Business Edition and Corporate Counsel Edition - Thomson Reuters 2009/2013
  • Best Lawyers in America in Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law, Woodward/White, Inc., 2008-2015
  • Best Lawyers in America, Texas’ Best Lawyers, Woodward/White, Inc., 2013-2015
  • International Who’s Who of Asset Recovery Lawyers, 2012-2013
  • Law Awards for Achievement, Finance Monthly, 2010
  • Leaders in Their Field, Chambers USA, 2005-2015
  • Leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyer, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC's Expert Guide to the World's Leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers, 2001-2009
  • Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2003-2012
  • Who’s Who Legal: Texas, Law Business Research Limited, 2007-2008
  • Selected by Expert Guides, Legal Media Group: Guide to the World’s Leading Banking Finance and Transactional Lawyers in Insolvency and Restructuring 2013-2015, United States
  • AV® Peer Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

ADMISSIONS

  • Supreme Court of Texas;
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth and District of Columbia Circuits;
  • United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas;
  • Various Federal Courts throughout the Country

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude), Temple University, 1980

Master of Public Administration, Maxwell School of Syracuse University, 1983

Juris Doctorate, Syracuse University College of Law, 1983

Representative Deals & Suits

  • Representation of the Official Unsecured Creditors’ Committee in the Life Partners (‘Life Partners”) bankruptcy proceeding in Texas. LPI manages a “life settlement” portfolio with a face value of $2.4 billion and over 22,000 investor/creditors throughout the US. The SEC recovered a $40 million judgment against LPI, the enforcement of which led to the bankruptcy filing. Munsch Hardt joined the SEC to remove management and after a 6 day trial, a Chapter 11 Trustee was appointed. Together with the Trustee, the Committee recently filed a Joint Second Amended Plan and Disclosure Statement to deal with the complex issues surrounding the treatment of more than $1.4 billion in claims.The Plan will liquidate the portfolio over 20+ years and authorize the pursuit of litigation claims against numerous targets.
  • Representation of the Joint Liquidators of Stanford International Bank ("SIB") in SIB's liquidation proceeding pending before the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda in Antigua.SIB is an international bank chartered under the laws of Antigua and Barbuda and domiciled in St. John's, Antigua, West Indies.SIB was allegedly a key participant in the multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme of R. Allen Stanford.SIB’s Joint Liquidators recently reached a global agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC Receiver in the proceeding commenced in Texas regarding $300 million in assets located in Switzerland, Canada and the UK.
  • Representation of the Receiver appointed in a proceeding commenced by the Securities and Exchange Commission, involving 63 separate defendants, in connection with an alleged oil and gas Ponzi scheme involving in excess of $700 million raised from over 8,000 investors.The Receiver was also appointed the Chapter 11 Trustee for 27 of the corporate defendants in the SEC proceeding.A joint plan of reorganization was confirmed within a year of filing and will pay creditors 100% plus interest.
  • Representation of Quality One Wireless, LLC in the successful acquisition of the assets of Personal Communications Devices, LLC, a leading provider of wireless devices to service providers in the U.S., for approximately $125 million, in a New York Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Representation of CSD, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company, in a Chapter 11 reorganization in the District of Nevada.CSD was formed in 2010 to acquire a 40 acre estate located in Las Vegas and to develop a museum honoring the life and career of “Mr. Las Vegas”, Wayne Newton.The bankruptcy was initiated in order to manage contentious and prolonged state court litigation and facilitate a prompt sale of the assets and a restructuring of the liabilities.The successful plan of reorganization was confirmed in nine (9) months and paid 100% of allowed creditors’ claims.
  • Representation of New York Yankees' third baseman, Alex Rodriguez, the largest unsecured creditor in the Texas Rangers Baseball Partners bankruptcy, as a result of unpaid deferred compensation resulting from his 2001 record breaking $252 million contract, and a member of the Unsecured Creditors' Committee.

Publications

  • “Bankruptcy” a chapter to be published on the SMU Law Review website, co-authored by Davor Rukavina, Spring 2014.
  • “Meeting the Challenge of Fraud with an Arsenal of Effective Legal Weapons in the Right Hands”, published in the ICC FraudNet newsletter, October, 2013.
  • “Utilizing Chapter 15 of the United States Bankruptcy Code to Combat Fraud," a chapter in the Asset Tracing & Recovery, the FraudNet World Compendium published 2013, co-authored by Jonathan L. Howell.
  • “From Ponzi Schemes to the Libor Scandal to Lance Armstrong: Pervasive Fraud Takes Its Toll”, article published in the ICC FraudNet newsletter, April 2013.
  • “Strategies, Considerations and Challenges in Obtaining Recognition in a Contested Chapter 15” published in Inside the Minds: Chapter 15 Bankruptcy Strategies 2012
  • "Bankruptcy,"SMU Law Review Annual Survey, Volume 65, Number 2, co-authored by Davor Rukavina, 280-313, Spring 2012.

Speeches and Presentations

  • "Coordinating International Asset Recovery – Practical Approaches and Case Studies", presented at the ICC FraudNet Spring Conference
  • “Getting to Hidden Assets in North America and Foreign Jurisdictions”, presented at the AICPA Forensic & Valuation Services Conference, November 9-11, 2014 – New Orleans, LA.
  • “Proper Cramdown Interest” presentation to the American Bankruptcy Institute Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 – Debates at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Annual Meeting, October 10, 2014 – Chicago, IL.
  • “The Evolving World of Cross-Border Frauds: Predicting What the Future Holds and How to Prepare for Same”, presented at the 10th Annual Financial Crime Forum of the ICC Financial Investigation Bureau held in Limassol, Cyprus, July 9-10, 2014.
  • “International Bankruptcy Law and Practice” presented with The Honorable Alan S. Trust, US Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of New York; Richard Schmidt, US Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Texas; Harlin D. Hale, US Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Texas; Stacy Jernigan US Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Texas; Leif Clark, US Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Texas (retired); Franco Gianni of Gianni Origoni (Rome, Italy), and Roberto Kampfner of White & Case (Los Angeles, CA), June 6, 2014.
  • “Can’t We All Just Get Along? Adventures in Cross-Border Insolvency Proceedings”, presented at the TAGLaw Spring 2014 Conference – Miami, co-presented with Christopher Jarvinen of Berger Singerman, Laura Hatfield of Solomon Harris, and Andrew Turner of Conner & Winters, May 5 – 7, 2014
  • “The Evolving World of Cross-Border Frauds: Predicting What the Future Holds and How to Prepare for Same”, presented at the 2014 BVI - ICC FraudNet Spring Meeting. Co-presented with Kevin Hellard of Grant Thornton, Kenneth M. Krys of KRyS-Global, Rodrigo Callejas of Carrillo & Asociados, Guatemala, and Kees van de Meent of Hocker Advocaten in the Netherlands, April 24 – 25, 2014.
  • “Plan Confirmation and Related Issues in the Fifth Circuit: Reorganizing in the Fifth Continues to Look Attractive”, presented at the 5th Circuit Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference - New Orleans, LA, co-presented with The Honorable Katharine M. Samson, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi, Clifton R. Jessup of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and William E. Steffes of Steffes, Vingiello & McKenzie, LLC, February 12 – 14, 2014.
  • “Chapter 15 and the Vitro Decision”, presented at The University of Texas 32nd Annual Jay L. Westbrook Bankruptcy Conference, co-presented with Berry D. Spears of Norton Rose Fulbright, November 22, 2013.
  • “Fraud Investigation, Forensic Accounting & Asset Recovery”, panel presentation at the 3rd Annual Conference on Fraud, Asset Recovery & Cross-Border Insolvency Cooperation, November 6-8, 2013.
  • “The Pervasiveness of Fraud and Corruption and How It’s Been (and is Being) Addressed”, presented at the ICC FraudNet conference in Oslo, Norway, April 27, 2013.
  • “Locating and Seizing Assets in Foreign Jurisdictions” presented at the NAFER conference September 14, 2012 co-presented with Dennis Roossien.
  • “FraudNet” presentation on Overview to The International Criminal Court – the Hague on February 22, 2012.
  • "Circumventing Attorney/Client Privilege in Fraud Cases – Insights and Developments."Presented at the FraudNet conference in Dubai, co-presented with Ed Davis of Astigarraga Davis-USA; Bettina Knoetzl of Wolf Theiss-Austria; Steve Baker of Baker and Partners-Jersey CI, October 27, 2011.
  • "Dueling Proceedings Between Bankruptcy and Receiverships."Presented at The University of Texas 29th Annual Jay L. Westbrook Bankruptcy Conference, co-presented by Judge H. DeWayne Hale, Holland O'Neil and William F. Stutts, November 19, 2010.
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