A tipster (send in your tips here) told me that things turned dire at World Law Debt last week. Apparently their Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization was forced into a Chapter 7 liquidation after an application to the court by the Oregon Department of Justice because a number of problems the debt settlement company faced.
For years World Law has been an enigma. It was never clear to me who the attorneys behind the operation were and who really was World law Debt. After reading through the documentation below, you can form your own opinion.
The company faced a number of challenges in a number of states and in some states like Colorado, it looks like previous state decisions over Morgan Drexen sealed the fate for those to follow. – Source
Let me just say, if you have had any experience or interest in the debt relief industry over the past five or so years, the information below will be very interesting to you.
Just available court documents provide hundreds and hundreds of pages of inside information. What you will read below are what I felt to be the most interesting parts of those documents. I’ll link to the collection of documents throughout so you can read them yourself.
Probably the most damning testimony is offered by Derin Scott himself. Scott talks about the elusive man labeled as the international brainchild behind World Law, Brad Haskins. Who was in charge?
A number of depositions in the case are still under seal. Those include the depositions of Steve Speed, David Klein, Ian Raney, Raymond Brock, Bryan Rodenberg, and Brent Hampton.
Here is what the State of Oregon said when they requested the bankruptcy be converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation.
“Oregon moves to convert the Debtor’s case to Chapter 7 for the following reasons: (1) The Debtor operates unlawfully as a debt management service company in violation of Oregon state law; (2) The Debtor’s economic performance in bankruptcy demonstrates a substantial and continuing loss to and diminution of the estate, indicating an absence of a reasonable likelihood of rehabilitation; (3) The Debtor’s schedules and statement of financial affairs indicate numerous insider and other potentially avoidable transactions that should require the appointment of a neutral trustee for their prosecution; and (4) The Debtor’s failure to serve notice of the bankruptcy on all fifty States and all customers who have received services from the Debtor violates the requirements of Bankruptcy Code § 342 and Bankruptcy Rule 2002, as well as severely hampers the ability of any proposed plan of reorganization from being effective in that no certainty can be had as to what debts the Debtor has to repay or are to be discharged.
Oregon asserts that Orion operates under various “World Law” entities to target vulnerable consumers who are in financial trouble as a result, mostly, of credit card debt. Orion tells consumers that it is a law firm and that it will provide local licensed attorneys to resolve consumers’ unsecured credit card debts. In reality, Orion employs no local attorneys and charges consumers illegal upfront fees for substandard debt negotiation services. Orion also charges illegal upfront fees before any debts are settled. Not only do Orion’s fees exceed the statutory limits, but they are also grossly overinflated, causing more than 70 percent of the consumers’ deposits collected by Orion to go directly to “Attorney Service Fees.” Orion employees also tell consumers to stop paying their credit card debts. When consumers are ultimately sued by their credit card companies for failing to pay on their credit card balances, the consumers are provided with boilerplate pleadings (many of which contained untrue and inaccurate statements) which are drafted overseas by non-lawyers and often rejected by courts for failure to comply with local rules. Consumers are then forced to represent themselves pro se in state court proceedings, notwithstanding having subscribed to and paid for the Debtor’s services. The consumers end up with money judgments against them for the full amounts of their debts, plus attorney fees and filing fees. If consumers seek to terminate their relationship with World Law or attempt to obtain a refund of the money they have paid, they are typically unable to do so or only obtain a partial refund. Ultimately, consumers who have used Orion’s services are forced to pay grossly inflated, often nonrefundable and illegal fees for legal services that were never provided, by attorneys that do not exist. These actions are not only occurring in Oregon, but across the United States.”
“The Debtor’s schedules and statement of financial affairs are breathtaking in the magnitude of insider transactions and potential avoidance actions. For example, $323,000.00 is owed to the Debtor by World Law Group America, a d/b/a previously used by the Debtor, and also an entity owned by Haskins. The Debtor has no known plans to collect the receivable. The listed creditors include only those States that have active litigation against Orion, as well as law firms and an Indian legal services outsourcing company. The Debtor’s landlord – 9011 Mountain Ridge Drive LLC – is not registered to do business in Texas. The statement of financial affairs show over $2,944,940 in payments to Derin Scott’s family over the last year, including his minor children and his father. Family Capital Investment & Management, LLC, a company controlled by Derin Scott and the employer of the Debtor’s manager David Klein, has a potentially avoidable transfer of $477,000.00. The Debtor has provided no plan on who or what will investigate these transfers for the benefit of creditors.” – Source
Court Documents Say This
Derin Scott Deposition Deptember 27, 2013
For past stories that included Derin Scott, click here.
- Derin Scott was aware of Federal Trade Commission’s rulemaking process to amend the Telemarketing Sales Rule in 2010 with regard to debt relief services.
- Derin Scott knew that Orion could no longer do business the way it had been because it could no longer charge advance fees after the TSR amendments took effect.
- Scott describes changes had to be made after TSR amendments, now World Law has complete authority over Orion Processing, that means attorneys speak to clients and direct any employee at Orion, Orion’s clients are World Law’s clients, Orion has business agreement with World Law, agreement signed by Dave Klein, COO on behalf of Orion.
- Derin Scott states there are no World Law attorneys at the Orion Processing
location. How are employees under control of World Law attorneys if none at Orion? Scott states Orion employees are directed by attorneys that are in charge of whatever client they might be assisting. Who are those attorneys? Scott doesn’t know all of the attorneys.
The deposition below was taken regarding an action against Clear Your Debt, Swiftrock Financial, Orion Processing, Derin Scott, and Shannon Scott.
Answers in the content below will be the answers of Derin Scott.
Q. Do you know what the amendments to the telemarketing sales rule were related to debt relief services?
A. The ones in 2010, —
A. — of October?
Q. What were they?
A. I don’t recall them all, right now. But, —
Q. Just, what do you recall?
A. That we could no longer do business the way we had in the past.
Q. And why?
A. Because we didn’t have the authority to have clients.
Q. If I could refresh your recollection. Did it have anything to do with advance fees?
Q. And what did it have to do with advance fees?
A. You weren’t supposed to charge advance fees in the way you had prior to this.
Q. So, you are familiar with Brad Haskins?
Q. Have you ever met him?
Q. Where did you meet him?
A. Fort Lauderdale.
Q. And what did you talk about?
A. Just, met him. I asked him about his business.
Q. Have you ever heard of World Law Group?
A. I’ve heard of it.
Q. Do you know what it is?
A. It’s part of a law firm, I think.
Q. Part of what law firm?
A. World Law.
Q. Does World Law have attorneys at the Orion Processing location?
9 A. I guess — Is that your whole question?
A. Sometimes or —
Q. No, just — That’s the question.
Q. So, how are the employees at Orion under the control of World Law attorneys if there are none at that location?
A. Because they’re directed by the attorneys that are in charge of whatever client they might be assisting.
Q. And who are those attorneys?
A. I don’t know all of the attorneys. I don’t — I’m sure you can find out. – Source
Derin Scott Deposition January 30, 2015
This is the deposition conducted by the State of North Carolina.
- Formation of Swift Rock, cannot remember capital contributions, doesn’t know who officers are other than himself, knows of no corporate formalities, purpose of business was to sell debt settlement programs to consumers for handling by third parties, is no longer doing business but is not dissolved.
- Dave Klein takes over in December 2009.
- Formed Orion to handle the customers of Swift Rock and other marketers.
- Meets with Brad Haskins at the courthouse in Ft. Lauderdale.
- Orion was contracting with customers before contracting with WL.
- Orion issues checks to AAA, not WL.
- Email from Dave Klein stating he has control over law firm’s funds.
- Email to GCS changing business name from Orion to World Law Debt.
- More on meeting with Brad Haskins, Orion had to have a law firm or it would be out of business, Scott doesn’t know any other attorneys with possible exception of a woman from San Antonio, collecting advance fees is still illegal under attorney model except WL
provides other services but Scott doesn’t know what they are.
Q. Did Swift Rock have any directors?
A. I’m not sure.
Q. Did Swift Rock have any corporate officers other than you as president?
A. I’m not sure.
Q. Did Swift Rock have any directors meetings?
A. Not that I was involved with.
Q. Are there any minutes of action taken without meeting for Swift Rock by directors?
A. I don’t know that.
Q. Are there any corporate documents showing how Swift Rock was organized or run?
A. Not that I know of.
Q. Who did you hire to handle Swift Rock?
A. I think it was a gentleman by the name of Jordan Lane at the time.
Q. You are the sole member of Orion Processing as a limited liability company; is that correct?
A. I think so.
Q. Have you — are there any directors of directors or managers or anything else with regard to Orion Processing as a limited liability company?
A. It might have been done. I don’t recall.
Q. What did you talk about?
A. When I met with Brad Haskins, I talked about his law firm and what he did.
Q. Did you talk about the fact that his law firm — what was the name of his law firm?
A. World Law.
Q. World Law. Did you meet at his office?
A. We met in Fort Lauderdale.
Q. Where in Fort Lauderdale?
A. At a courthouse.
Q. At the courthouse.
Q. In a conference room?
A. In a conference room.
Q. Did you discuss the activities with World Law and Orion Processing?
A. We did not.
Q. Then why did you want to learn about his law firm?
A. To see if he was a viable person with a viable law firm.
Q. For what purpose?
A. To run our company. So Orion would work for his company, his law firm.
Q. So you met with Brad Haskins to discuss Orion’s role in working with World Law?
A. No. I met with Brad Haskins in order to make sure he was a real person, real attorney with a real company.
Q. Did you make any other effort to tell whether Mr. Haskins’ law firm existed and what it did?
A. Just making sure that he had a law license and was a real attorney.
Q. That’s it. You did not go to a law office?
A. I did at one time go to his law office in New York.
Q. You did go to his law office in New York?
A. I did.
Q. Where is that?
A. I couldn’t tell you the address.
Q. Was there a plaque on the door that said World Law?
20 A. There was not.
Q. Was it a virtual office space?
A. What do you mean by “virtual”?
Q. Was it an office space for rent that had another name on the door?
Q. Brad Haskins is an attorney?
Q. Is he your attorney?
A. He’s not my attorney right now.
Q. Was he ever your attorney?
A. He’s talked on my behalf before as an attorney.
Q. Talked on your behalf before where?
A. He’s represented me or the company.
Q. Which company?
MR. BYRNE: Hang on. You asked the question about whether Brad Haskins was, in your words, your attorney. You’re referring to Derin Scott personally?
MR. HENRY: Yes, right now.
BY MR. HENRY:
Q. Is he or has he been your attorney personally?
A. He talked to the attorney general in Texas on my behalf.
Q. Was he ever your attorney in any other context?
Q. Is he an attorney for any of your companies?
A. Like do I hire him, is that what you’re — is he on payroll, is that what you’re asking?
Q. I’m just asking if he’s an attorney for any of your companies. That could mean payroll. It could mean he’s hired as an independent contractor, outside counsel, in-house counsel. Does he function as a lawyer for any of your companies?
A. No. He owns the law firm that we report to, that Orion Processing reports to.
Q. When did you first learn of Brad Haskins?
A. Early 2010-ish.
Q. How did you learn of him?
A. A partner of mine who was a CEO of a company called appiction.com, his mother had used Brad Haskins. Brad Haskins was her attorney.
Q. And so Brad Haskins was referred to you by a friend?
Q. How did you first speak with or contact Brad Haskins?
A. I think a three-way call.
Q. Who was on the call?
A. I think it was Dave Klein, myself and Brad.
Q. What was the purpose of the call?
A. To talk about his, what he did, his law firm.
Q. Do you have an idea of when this call occurred?
A. I think early 2010.
Q. Why did you want to have a call with him?
A. Because we had to have a law firm run our company. Otherwise, we were out of business.
Q. Explain that to me.
A. Because of the TSR ruling, we were searching for a law firm that had tentacles in every
16 state, attorneys in every state.
Q. So the TSR ruling, that would be the telemarketing sales rule?
Q. What is your understanding of that rule? Just very generally, what does it mean to you? What is the impact of it?
A. I just knew that we couldn’t, I know that we couldn’t continue to operate business in the fashion that we had prior. That’s all I know.
Q. And how had you been running business before?
A. Without attorneys.
Q. And what were you — you needed attorneys to come in and do what under the telemarketing sales rule?
A. We needed attorneys to work with clients in every state.
Q. And at the time you did not have this?
Q. And you thought by having Brad Haskins’ law firm come in, that would provide that for you and make it legal under the telemarketing sales rule; is that a fair?
Q. What did Brad Haskins tell you he had?
A. A law firm with lawyers in every state and other parts of the country.
Q. Did you ever meet any of the lawyers?
A. I have not.
Q. Did he identify who any of the lawyers were?
Q. Who did he identify?
A. I recall him talking about a lady in San Antonio.
Q. Do you recall her name?
A. I do not.
Q. Did he identify any other lawyers?
A. Not to me.
Q. How many times have you met either in phone or in person with Brad Haskins?
A. I met Brad twice face to face.
Q. Twice face to face and then there’s the one call we just talked about?
A. No. Possibly five calls.
Q. Do you recall what was discussed on those calls?
A. I do not.
Q. Do you recall who was on those calls besides you and Mr. Haskins?
A. Some of them had Dave Klein on the phone with us.
Q. So it was either you and Dave Klein and Brad Haskins or just you and Brad Haskins?
A. I think I’ve talked to Brad Haskins once or twice just by myself.
Q. And every other time you talked to him on the phone, Dave Klein has been there?
A. I think so.
Q. You said you met with Brad Haskins twice in person?
Q. When were those meetings?
A. I don’t recall the exact date.
Q. Do you have a year?
Q. Where were those meetings held?
A. I met him in Fort Lauderdale the first time.
Q. That was at the courthouse in the conference room?
Q. Let’s just delve into that one a little bit. Who was at that meeting?
A. Just me and Brad.
Q. Did you go to Fort Lauderdale specifically for that meeting?
A. I was here in Florida. So yeah, I drove down specifically to meet him.
Q. What was discussed at that meeting?
A. His law firm. I wanted to meet him face to face and understand who he was.
Q. What impressions did you take away from that meeting specifically regarding his law firm and who he was?
A. That he was a very sharp attorney and that his law firm had representation in every state and international countries.
Q. You said you met with him a second time in person?
Q. When was that?
A. I think 2010 also.
Q. Do you know where that meeting took place?
A. It was just a dinner.
Q. Do you know who attended that meeting?
A. Dave Klein and Brad and myself.
Q. Do you recall what was discussed at that meeting?
A. I do not.
Q. There’s a business relationship between Orion Processing and World Law Group; is that correct? You testified to that earlier.
Q. When did that business relationship begin?
A. I think early 2010.
Q. This business relationship arose out of your meetings with Brad Haskins?
Q. In an effort to work around the telemarketing sales rule?
MR. BYRNE: Objection to form.
BY MR. HENRY:
Q. In an effort to comply with the telemarketing sales rule?
Q. Does this business relationship between Orion Processing and World Law Group continue today?
Q. Can you in general terms describe that relationship to me?
A. Orion does contract work for World Law.
Q. What kind of contract work?
A. I don’t know all the specifics.
Q. Can you identify any aspects of the contract work?
A. I would be not talking from fact.
Q. You would have to guess about what the contract entails?
A. What all of it is, yes.
Q. What any of it is?
Q. So you don’t know anything about what happens between Orion Processing and World Law Group?
MR. BYRNE: Objection. Misstates his testimony.
MR. HENRY: I’m having him clarify. I’m trying to understand.
THE WITNESS: Correct. I don’t, I don’t know the bundle of services that World Law provides.
BY MR. HENRY:
Q. You couldn’t generally describe — let me back up. So World Law provides services to Orion?
A. World Law provides services to World Law’s clients.
Q. And Orion does what in that relationship?
A. What World Laws tells them to do.
Q. World Law issues directions?
Q. Orion complies?
Q. Who issues directions from World Law?
A. I think a variety of attorneys.
Q. Can you name any of those attorneys?
A. I don’t deal with any. I don’t know, no.
Q. You or any of our companies, Orion Processing, do you believe Orion Processing is using the attorney model?
Q. How do you believe the attorney model is different from what Orion Processing and what World Law Group are currently doing?
A. I don’t think the attorney model has attorneys that are in charge, in control. It’s their clients, and the processing company does exactly what they tell them to, by contract.
Q. So you believe attorneys are — the difference in the Orion Processing situation is the attorneys are in control?
A. For sure.
Q. But you don’t know who any of those attorneys are?
MR. BYRNE: Objection. Asked and answered.
You can answer.
THE WITNESS: I’ve already told you that I know of one attorney in San Antonio. I’m sure others would know many more attorneys, not me.
BY MR. HENRY:
Q. Are you familiar with the company called Global Client Solutions?
A. I am.
Q. How are you familiar with them?
A. I was introduced to Michael Hendrix back in 2006.
Q. Who introduced you?
A. I think we were at a conference.
Q. Do you remember what the conference was for?
A. It would have been a debt settlement conference.
Q. And what did you discuss with Mr. Hendrix?
A. His, his new business plan, how he was creating or had created Global Client Solutions.
BY MR. HENRY:
Q. What did Michael Hendrix tell you that Global Client Solutions could do for you or your companies?
A. That it would set up accounts, had relationships with banks that would set up accounts, that would draft the client, process the draft and…
Q. Can you explain to me why the arrangement with World Law Group and Orion Processing is different than that?
A. Because I understand that they provide many other services to the client besides the debt settlement.
Q. Do you have a general idea what those services are?
A. I don’t. – Source
Deposition of Donna Cano May 14, 2015
Brad Haskins mail is forwarded from New York mail drop to Jackson Tower Las Olas, 100 South Birch Road, Suite 2303, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. – Source
Deposition of Ariel Berschadsky May 14, 2015
Deposition of Kevin Hendrick April 2, 2015
- Hendrick is a Michigan attorney.
- Hendrick describes interactions with Brad Haskins and limited work performed by Hendrick.
- Hendrick testifies that he is falsely named in the Krishnan affidavit as an attorney servicing World Law clients.
Deposition of Andrew Richner April 2, 2015
- Richner is a Michigan attorney.
- Richner describes his relationship with Brad Haskins, testifies that the Krishnan affidavit incorrectly identifies him as a World Law attorney who services Colorado, and testifies that the World Law Direct website incorrectly identifies him as a founding board member.
Q. Do you have an ownership interest in World Law Group Ltd.?
A. Not that I know of.
Q. Where is World Law Group Ltd. registered to do business?
A. I have no idea. I should say that I have no personal knowledge. I mean, there’s an affidavit — I don’t know which company it was that —
Q. All right. I’m just asking about your personal knowledge.
A. Yeah. I don’t know.
Q. Do you have an understanding of who the individuals are who control World Law Group Ltd.?
Q. What’s Mr. Haskins’s role in connection with World Law Group Ltd.?
A. Well, he’s my principal contact.
Q. Do you know the position he holds with that entity?
A. No. I believe he’s the founder, but there may be others too. I don’t know.
Q. Do you know any individuals who are representatives of World Law Group other than Mr. Haskins?
Q. Have you done any work for World Law Group other than legal work?
A. Work for them? No. I mean, what type of work?
Q. Have you ever served on the World Law Group board?
A. Not that I know of.
Q. And at the top here — well, at the very top there’s a reference to World Law Direct; right?
Q. And then kind of the title of the page there is “Who We Are.” Do you see that?
Q. And then about midway down the page, in bold it says “Founding board members,” right?
Q. And then the first person listed is Brad Haskins; correct?
Q. And then the second person listed is the Honorable Andrew Richner; right?
Q. That’s you?
Q. And are you a founding board member of World Law Direct?
A. Like I said, I don’t know what that means. I don’t know.
Q. Well, to your knowledge, did you ever serve on the board of World Law Direct?
Q. Thinking back —
A. I’ve never been — I never attended a board meeting. I’ve never been invited to attend one. I have no, you know, indication that I was appointed to such a position. I don’t know what that is. I don’t even know what it is. I don’t know what company this is referring to.
Q. Well, thinking back through your life, have you ever been involved in any meetings that you can think of that would consist of being a board member for some World Law-related entity?
Q. Toward the top of the page here there’s text, and it says “In 1998, partners from five of the world’s leading international law firms met to discuss the impact of the internet on the provision of legal services.” Do you see that?
Q. Were you at any such meeting?
Q. Do you know why you’re listed as a founding board member on this website?
A. No. – Source
Deposition of Kyle Sciolaro March 20, 2015
- Sciolaro is a Kansas attorney.
- Sciolaro produced documents in response to a subpoena.
- Sciolaro describes work performed for World Law and states that never represented any
World Law clients and states that the Krishnan affidavit incorrectly identifies him
as a World Law lawyer who services Colorado clients.
- More testimony regarding limited relationship with World Law Group. – Source
Deposition of Joshua Primm January 27, 2015
- Primm resides in Colorado.
- Primm is a lawyer.
- Krishnan affidavit incorrectly states that Primm services World Law’s Colorado clients – Primm has never represented World Law clients.
Q. In connection with the work that you did for World Law, did you ever provide any legal services to a World Law client?
Q. So I guess that would mean that you provided no legal services to a World Law client in Colorado; is that correct?
Q. Does that also mean that you did not enter into an attorney-client relationship with any World Law client?
A. I did not enter into any attorney-client relationship. – Source
Deposition of Jay Carlin March 17, 2015
- Carlin is a retired lawyer.
- Carlin worked for World Law and describes how he spoke with clients to make sure they
knew when their court hearing date was but did not represent any World Law clients or provide them with legal services.
- Orion made misrepresentations to the American Arbitration Association and to a
Colorado court regarding Carlin; it represented that Carlin was a World Law Group attorney representing clients and that was not true. – Source
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