In re: Sentinel Management Group, Inc.

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
Nos. 10-3787 et al. Cons.
Decision Date: 
August 26, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Affirmed and reversed in part and remanded
Dist. Ct. erred in rejecting Bankruptcy Trustee’s claims against creditor in Chapter 11 adversary proceeding that essentially sought to set aside creditor’s lien with respect to $312 million in loans made by creditor to debtor, where debtor improperly pledged its customer’s segregated accounts as collateral for said loans in effort to cover debtor’s in-house trading activities, and where Trustee argued that creditor was aware of debtor’s fraudulent activities, and yet loaned money to debtor anyway. While Dist. Ct. believed that debtor’s pledge of segregated funds did not constitute fraudulent transfer since debtor did not “intend” to deprive customers of their funds at time of pledge, Ct. of Appeals found that such pledge demonstrated actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud debtor’s customers sufficient to set aside instant lien since said pledge exposed customers to substantial risk of loss of which they were unaware, and since debtor was aware that said pledge of segregated funds violated Commodity Exchange Act. Moreover, Dist. Ct. improperly dismissed Trustee’s equitable subordination claim regarding creditor’s lien where record contained some evidence that creditor was aware that debtor was engaging in wrongful conduct prior to making instant loans. Thus, remand was required for hearing as to extent of creditor’s knowledge of debtor’s wrongful conduct.