United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
ORDER APPROVING DISTRIBUTION PROCEDURES AND CERTAIN OTHER RELATED RELIEF
GRAHAM C. MULLEN, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court upon the Receiver's Motion for an Order Approving Distribution Procedures and Certain Other Related Relief (the "Motion"). Through that Motion, the Receiver sought the approval of the following relief: (1) procedures for the resolution of certain Claims reconciliation matters, including, but not limited to, granting the Receiver authority to settle Claims asserted against the Receivership Defendant, establishing a procedure for settling Claims filed against the Receivership Defendant, appointing retired Judge Frank W. Bullock, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, to serve as special master over objections to Claim Determinations that the Receivership Team has been unable to resolve through negotiations with the Claimant, and establishing the method by which a Claimant or the Receiver may appeal an adverse determination of the Special Master (once appointed) to this Court; (2) the establishment of the priority of distributions to the holders of allowed Claims; (3) the establishment of the rising tide methodology for determining the distributions to be made on account of the allowed Claims held by Affiliate Investors; and (4) the procedures for making distributions, including, but not limited to, the collection of necessary information to make distributions to holders of allowed Claims, and the establishment of the procedures for making distributions.
After reviewing and considering the Motion as well as the objection of non-party Johnny Belsome, et al., the Court hereby GRANTS the Motion in all respects.
IT IS HEREBY FOUND, DETERMINED, ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED, AS FOLLOWS:
1. The notice of the Motion that was sent via electronic mail to all entities that fully submitted claims on the Claims Portal via the electronic mail address provided in the Claim submission process by such entity constitutes good and sufficient notice of the Motion and all the relief sought therein, including the appointment of the Special Master.
Appointment of Special Master
2. The holders of Claims against the Receivership Defendant hold no jury trial right in respect to the determination, allowance, disallowance, adjudication, and/or liquidation of such Claims.
3. An exceptional condition warranting a Special Master exists in this Case in regard to the Claims.
4. Retired Judge Frank W. Bullock, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, is hereby Appointed as the Special Master.
5. The Special Master shall file the affidavit required by Rule 53(b)(3)(A) within ten (10) days after the filing of this Motion.
6. The duties and powers of the Special Master shall be limited to those duties and powers described herein. The Special Master shall not have the power to issue any orders or impose any sanctions.
7. The Special Master shall only review and make determinations regarding Claims if:
(i) (A) the Receiver has issued a Claim Determination regarding the Claim; (B) the Claimant timely objects to the Claim Determination; (C) more than 90 days has passed since the issuance of a Claim Determination or an amended Claim Determination (as the case may be), subject to the Receiver consenting to a shortening of this period; (D) negotiations between the Receiver and the Claimant have commenced and have not resulted in a settlement; and (E) either the Claimant or the Receiver has requested that the Special Master review and intervene in the Claim dispute (a "Request for Intervention"); or (ii) the Receiver reaches a settlement with a Claimant that requires the review of the Special Master as set forth in Paragraph 21 hereof (a "Settlement Review").
8. A Request for Intervention must be made in writing and served via electronic mail to the opposing entity and the Special Master.
9. The Request for Intervention must include a statement setting forth the Claimant's or the Receiver's position, as the case may be, with respect to the amount of the Claim (the "Position Statement").
10. The Receivership Team shall, within 30 days after receiving or making the Request for Intervention, provide the Special Master with the data provided by the Claimant when it asserted the Claim (including, but not limited to, the amount the Claimant asserts it funded to ZeekRewards, the amount of payments the Claimant asserts it was paid by ZeekRewards and any backup submitted), the information stored in the ZeekRewards database relating to the Claimant, and any further information regarding the Claim that the Receivership Team may have in its possession (collectively, the "Claim Data").
11. The entity that receives the Request for Intervention from the opposing entity shall have 30 days from service of the Request for Intervention, subject to extension by agreement between the Receiver and the Claimant or by consent of the Special Master, to respond to the Position Statement (the "Reply") in writing via ...