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Debra P. Goldberg has joined the law firm of Cullen and Dykman LLP as a partner in the firm's Banking Practice Group. Practicing from the firm's Garden…

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Debra P. Goldberg has joined the law firm of Cullen and Dykman LLP as a partner in the firm’s Banking Practice Group. Practicing from the firm’s Garden City and Wall Street locations, she will continue to represent financial institutions, non-bank lenders, and equipment finance and leasing companies with a focus on commercial loans, including ABL loans and syndicated credit facilities, equipment lease financings, and commercial loan and lease portfolio acquisitions and divestitures. Goldberg was formerly Of Counsel at Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP.

The law firm of Holland & Knight is expanding its transportation finance practice in London with the addition of aviation finance partners William Coleman and Victoria Koob. Also joining the firm are associates Laurence Long, Fabio Miceli and Rachel Thomasen. All previously practiced in the London office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The lawyers’ practice, which is international in scope, includes experience in the Middle East, advising on various Gulf-based project finance, securitization and offset transactions using both Islamic and conventional financing structures. Holland & Knight opened its London office last May with the addition of the lawyers from Clark Ricketts, a London law firm with a practice devoted to transportation law.

The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York has announced that the president of Choice Office Solutions LLC, Michael Conway, of Verona, NJ, was sentenced to four years in prison. In February 2016, Conway pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a scheme in which he forged numerous lease agreements to defraud an individual investor and De Lage Landen Financial Solutions Partner (DLLFSP) of more than $4.5 million. Conway was also ordered to pay $3,555,493.40 to the individual investor, and $1,203,516 in restitution to DLLFSP.

Between March 2014 to August 2015, Conway forged lease agreements with various companies in the business of leasing office equipment, and then used these fraudulent agreements to obtain financing from private investors. As part of the scheme, he induced an individual investor to become partners with him in the leasing business. Conway would then purportedly secure a lease from a company, present the signed lease and invoices to the individual investor, who would provide funds to purchase the office equipment to be leased. In this manner, Conway presented the individual investor with leases from approximately 58 companies, including law firms, universities, hospitals, and hotels, and the individual investor paid Conway approximately $3.5 million to purchase office equipment. In reality, most of the leasing agreements that Conway provided to the individual investor were fraudulent, and Conway pocketed most of the individual investor’s money.

One of the fraudulent leasing agreements was purportedly with the New York Mets. Relying on it, the individual investor wire-transferred approximately $500,000 to Conway’s bank account to purchase office equipment. Conway then used the same forged lease agreement, and a forged authorization letter from the New York Mets supposedly signed by Jeffrey Wilpon, the team’s chief operating officer, to obtain financing from DLLFSP. Based on these fraudulent documents, DLLFSP wire transferred a total of approximately $313,000 to Conway’s bank account. Through this and other forgeries, Conway defrauded DLLFSP of more than $1 million.

The charges were brought in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.

Commercial Credit Group Inc., an independent commercial equipment finance company based in Charlotte, NC, has acquired the machine tool finance business of Manufacturers Capital, LLC, in an effort to expand into the machine tool and manufacturing industry.

 

The views expressed in the article are those of the authors and not necessarily the views of their clients or other attorneys in their firm.

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