Today’s it, folks – the deadline for former PFGBest clients, vendors and so forth to file their claim in the bankruptcy. It has to be in by 5 PM today to be given consideration in the PFGBest bankruptcy case. For those who haven’t filed yet, that might be nerve wracking, but for those who have been languishing and waiting for another distribution, this date (already delayed a month, and we’d argue, far longer than it should have been) could not have come soon enough.
The surprising thing – our conversations with the trustee have indicate that only around half (a little over 50%) of eligible customers have actually filed their claims.
Half? Seriously? What are people waiting for?
The likely answer is that half the number of clients represented some small percent of the amount of money held by clients (1%, 5%, 10%?). What’s more, the half that have put in their claims are claiming over 100% of the money. From the data we have, the breakdown looks like this:
Amounts Claimed against PFG:
There are elements in this equation that are worthy of consideration. For starters, we’re not really going to complain about people not filing claims. If fewer claims are filed, that means there’s more of the pie to get distributed to our clients. On the flip side, you’ll notice that there are $414mm in futures accounts claims. If you’re scratching your head over this figure, given the amount owed to customers is just $400 mm in TOTAL, and given that only half of the eligible claims have been filed… join the club. Looking through the claims, one thing is clear: there are a TON of duplicate claims. This means the trustee has a lot of sorting to do in the coming weeks to ensure the proper amounts are being claimed and nobody gets access to more money than they are supposed to receive.
There are a few other claims that we’re hoping get dismissed outright. Russ Wasendorf Sr.’s ex-wife, for instance, is filing a claim for $2.4mm. Are you kidding us? You lived off of the stolen money from clients for 20 years of marriage. JPMorgan Chase is filing for $2.1mm. Seriously, guys? It’s a drop in the bucket, and heaven knows you guys could use some good PR – why not waive your claim in light of the fraud that was taking place (especially given that your bank was one of those used by Wasendorf in this mess). And the biggest claim of all, $48 million, is from the receiver for the Minnesota forex scam run through PFG for a lawsuit that was in its early stages. Should they really be claiming an amount which has yet to be ruled on by a judge or jury?
Wishful thinking? Maybe. These things aren’t up to us, but here’s hoping the futures customers get the treatment they deserve once the deadline passes.