Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. What happened?

As alleged in the SEC’s Complaint , Thurman P. Bryant, III and his company, Bryant United Capital Funding, Inc., have raised approximately $22.7 million from approximately 100 investors across the country, approximately $1.4 million of which Bryant has raised since January 2017, in a fraudulent mortgage investment scheme.

On May 15, 2017, the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, entered an order appointing a Receiver (Jennifer R. Ecklund) to take control of the assets and records of Thurman P. Bryant, III, and Bryant United Capital Funding, Inc. (the “Receivership Defendants”). The Court’s order covers all records and assets of each Defendant wherever located (“Receivership Estate”).

All assets and records of the Receivership Defendants are now under the sole control of the Receiver. 

2. What is a Receiver or Receivership?

A receivership is a process whereby an independent party is appointed by the Court and is charged with preserving and liquidating the assets of the defendants for the benefit of the aggrieved investors.

The receiver establishes a process by which persons with claims against the receivership estate or people who have invested or lost money, including investors and creditors, can present their claims.

After completing that process, the receiver typically makes a recommendation to the Court on how the assets and the claimants should be treated. Generally, anyone impacted by the recommendations will be given notice of the recommendation and an opportunity to object. Any objections that cannot be resolved between the receiver and the objector would be decided by the court.

Finally, after all claims are resolved, the funds are distributed, as approved by the Court, to each claimant with a valid claim.

3. Who is Jennifer Ecklund, and is she an employee of the SEC?

Jennifer Ecklund is a lawyer in private practice at the global law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP.

Ms. Ecklund does not work for or take instructions from the SEC. She is appointed by and answers directly to the United States District Court.

4. What can the Receiver tell me with respect to the status of my individual investment?

The Receiver has identified, seized, or taken control of all assets known to date. The Receiver is continuing to investigate, which may reveal other assets.

At this time, it is too early to give specifics on individual investments and likelihood of return of those invested dollars.

You may look up live information on the docket for the federal case in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, SEC v. Bryant, et al., Case No. 4:17-cv-00336-ALM, by going to https://www.pacer.gov and using the Case Number to search for the case.

5. How much of the money that I invested will be returned?

At this time, it is too early to know what money will be available for distribution; however, the amount you may receive will be dependent on proceeds received from the sale of assets under the control of the Receiver and the number of claims received against the proceeds.

6. How long does the Receiver believe the Receivership will take?

The length of time this process takes is dependent on the time taken to recover and sell all the assets of the Receivership Defendants once the Court has approved the sales. Unfortunately, this means that it is uncertain how long this process will last. It is far too early to know what amount may be distributed to investors or even if there will be sufficient funds to make any distribution to the investors.

7. What do I need to do now?

Investors should gather all of the documents related to their investment, including contracts, signed agreements, account statements, records of payments, receipts, and any communications to or from Mr. Bryant or any other representative of BUCF. This will greatly assist both the investor and the Receiver once the claim process is established. Likewise, creditors should gather documents substantiating their claim.

8. Does the Receiver have a fiduciary duty to each investor? Is there an attorney-client relationship between each individual investor and the Receiver?

There is no attorney-client relationship between the Receiver and any investor or creditor. The Receiver was appointed by the Court and is obligated to perform her duties pursuant to the Receivership Order. The Receiver was appointed to marshal Receivership Property. Once that property is marshaled, she will propose to the Court how it should be liquidated and/or distributed to affected investors and creditors. In that way, she is working to recover funds that investors have lost and return them.

9. Should I consult a lawyer?

The Receiver cannot and will not give you legal advice with respect to this case, nor can her counsel. Therefore, if you believe you need an attorney, you should hire your own.

Having a lawyer will not cause you to be paid any sooner than any other investor, and failure to hire a lawyer will not cause you to be paid any later than any other investor.

The Receiver is charged with acting in the interests of all investors in trying to identify, secure, and liquidate assets; pay outstanding legitimate expenses; and make distributions to investors as soon as possible.

10. Can you advise as to the status of the funds Bryant United Capital Funding, Inc. entrusted with The Wammel Group?

The Receiver’s aim is to identify, seize, and take control of all funds or assets of the Receivership Defendants. This includes funds that have been transferred to any and all third parties, including The Wammel Group. At this time, it is too early to give specifics on the status of the funds entrusted to The Wammel Group.

11. What is the relationship between Bryant United Capital Funding, Inc. and The Wammel Group?

The Receiver is in the process of investigating the scope of the involvement, participation, and relationship between The Wammel Group and Bryant United Capital Funding, Inc.

12. Has the Receiver seized documents and materials from the Defendants?

Yes. Upon being appointed by the Court, the Receiver and her team went to the Defendants’ virtual office location in Katy, Texas and to Mr. Bryant’s primary residence in a DFW suburb. Documents, computers, cell phones, and other materials were seized from these locations and remain in the Receiver's possession for the purpose of identifying additional bank accounts, assets, and interested persons.

13. Has the Receiver seized Mr. Bryant’s residence?

Yes.

14. What causes of action are being considered, other than those already asserted in the Complaint against Bryant, BUCF, and the Relief Defendants?

At this time, that information is not something the Receiver can share; it is too early in the investigation of assets. In general, Receivers bring suit to unwind fraudulent transfers and/or to enforce the Receivership Order (i.e., return of Receivership property).

15. Are any damages being sought from Bryant, BUCF, and the Relief Defendants, other than those set out in the Complaint?

That is a question for the SEC. The Receiver is not the plaintiff in any lawsuit and is not seeking damages at this time from any Defendant or Relief Defendant. Rather, she is marshaling the Receivership Property as directed by the Receivership Order.

16. Are all the damages recovered from Bryant, BUCF, and the Relief Defendants, net of prosecution costs, being allocated to compensate victims (i.e., investors), or is some portion being allocated to the United States government as fines or penalties?

You may direct this question to the SEC. Receivership Property will be used and distributed in accordance with the Receivership Order and/or any other orders the Court may enter.

17. Is the Receiver investigating potential hidden, secreted, or laundered funds, for the purpose of paying judgments against Bryant, BUCF, and the Relief Defendants?

The Receiver is working to marshal all assets, wherever they may be found. Receivership Property will be used in accordance with the Receivership Order and/or any other orders the Court may enter.

18. Is the Receiver investigating potential additional co-conspirators who participated in perpetrating the fraud, or in hiding, secreting, or laundering funds derived from the activities of Bryant, BUCF, and the Relief Defendants?

The Receiver is not the plaintiff. The Receiver is working to marshal all assets and is following all leads in that regard.

19. If Bryant, or any of the others implicated in the action, are indicted or prosecuted, and subsequently convicted, is there a protocol for how any funds recovered following such prosecution would be allocated to investors, considering the potential for criminal fines, as well as civil penalties?

Any allocation of funds will be in accordance with federal court orders.

20. How are you as the Receiver and your counsel compensated, and to what extent are the claims for fees and expenses incurred by the attorneys serving in the capacity of Receiver and Counsel to Receiver entitled to preference over investors?

The Court has approved Thompson & Knight LLP as counsel to the Receiver. Like all court-appointed Receivers and their professionals, and as the Receivership Order makes clear, the Receiver and her professionals will apply to the Court to approve fees incurred, and any approved fees are paid out of the Receivership Estate.

21. Where can I send notification of a change of address?

If you have questions or concerns, or need to update your information with the Receiver, you may contact the Receivership Estate in writing. E-mails may be sent to: . Mail may be sent to the following address:

The BUCF Receivership
c/o Jennifer R. Ecklund
Thompson & Knight LLP
One Arts Plaza
1722 Routh Street, Suite 1500
Dallas, Texas 75201

Written inquiries are being reviewed, but the Receiver does not expect to be able to respond to all individual inquiries personally. Inquiries are being forwarded to the appropriate person on the Receiver's team for a response, if necessary.

This website will be the main method of communicating with the public. We strongly encourage interested persons to check the website frequently because it is revised as new information is obtained.

22. We have heard that we need to send in documentation to the Receiver. What type of documentation is needed, how can I send it in, and how will it be used?

At this time, the Receiver is not requesting specific documents; however, information and documents related to proof of your investment, any agreement you signed, any written communications to or from Mr. Bryant, and account statements would be helpful to the Receivership Estate.

Any and all documents sent to the Receiver will remain secure and will be used to evaluate investments made to the Receivership Defendants and any potential returns to investors.

All documents should be sent to the Receivership Estate. You may contact the Receivership Estate only in writing. E-mails may be sent to: . Mail may be sent to the following address:

The BUCF Receivership
c/o Jennifer R. Ecklund
Thompson & Knight LLP
One Arts Plaza
1722 Routh Street, Suite 1500
Dallas, Texas 75201

23. Does the Receiver cooperate with private counsel for investors by sharing information?

The Receiver shares information that can be made public to all investors and prefers to do so through her website and/or email questions. Unless an investor is sued, they are typically not represented by counsel. However, if an attorney has a specific question, the Receiver will determine on a case-by-case basis whether it is appropriate to answer the question and how much information can be shared in response.

24. How is the Receiver notifying investors and other creditors of her actions?

The Receiver must obtain Court approval any time she intends to sell assets belonging to the Estate or take other action that directly affects the Estate. To obtain Court approval, the Receiver files written motions which may or may not be opposed by parties to the case.

In addition to the requirement to obtain Court approval to take action affecting the Receivership Estate, the Receiver is required to submit written reports to the Court that disclose the findings and activities of the Receiver. The Receiver's reports are filed with the Court and will be made available to the public via (1) this Website and/or (2) PACER, a public system whereby court documents may be accessed.

To notify investors and other creditors of the courses of action proposed by the Receiver, Orders entered by the Court, etc., the Receiver posts PDF versions of such documents to this Website. Additionally, all documents filed with or entered by the Court (including hearing notices) are available via PACER at http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/. There is no charge to register for a PACER account, but there is an $.08 per page cost to view or print documents. The costs associated with providing mailed copies of all documents generated in the case are prohibitive and would unnecessarily erode the value of the Estate.

Many investors and other creditors or interested persons have contacted the Receiver via her email address at and complained of a lack of response. Please be assured that the Receiver's team is reviewing every email that is received. The attorney time required to respond to each email, however, is also cost prohibitive and would unnecessarily strip value from the Estate and from monies available to reimburse investors in the future. Therefore, all investors, creditors, or other interested persons are strongly encouraged to continue monitoring the Website and PACER, where the Receiver will make each of her recommendations and intended actions public.

25. Will the report you are scheduled to file each quarter reflect any of the information sought herein? Is there a means for you to communicate with investors in a manner that is not available to Bryant, BUCF, or the Relief Defendants? How can the investors be kept reasonably informed of the progress of the work of the Receiver, so that they can make informed decisions, now and in the future, regarding the need to hire separate counsel?

The reports have a specific set of information that is required by the Court in SEC receiverships, including cash in/cash out, liabilities determined and/or ongoing, and general reporting of receivership activities in the reporting period. The reports and motion practice posted on the Receiver’s website and available through PACER are the primary method investors will have to receive information. That information will be available to the Defendants and Relief Defendants because it is public.

26. I have a question that is not covered in the FAQ.  Whom do I contact?

You may contact the Receivership Estate only in writing. E-mails may be sent to: . Mail may be sent to the following address:

The BUCF Receivership
c/o Jennifer R. Ecklund
Thompson & Knight LLP
One Arts Plaza
1722 Routh Street, Suite 1500
Dallas, Texas 75201

Written inquiries are being reviewed, but the Receiver does not expect to be able to respond to individual inquiries. Inquiries are being forwarded to the appropriate person on the Receiver's team for a response, if necessary.

This website will be the main method of communicating with the public. We strongly encourage interested persons to check the website frequently because it is revised as new information is obtained.