Joe Wielebinski is a member of Winstead’s Business Restructuring/ Bankruptcy Practice Group. For more than 35 years, his practice has concentrated on bankruptcy, creditors’ rights and financial restructuring, and he is active throughout the United States in a variety of complex restructuring, insolvency and bankruptcy matters and related litigation.
Joe has represented numerous victims in matters involving complex financial fraud, theft, money laundering and other white collar crimes. He has also served as a Federal District Court receiver at the request of the SEC in cases involving national and cross-border fraud schemes.
Joe is the Executive Director Emeritus of ICC-FraudNet, a London-based, invitation-only organization consisting of lawyers throughout the world who have significant experience in complex commercial fraud and offshore asset identification and recovery. Joe is a member of FraudNet’s Advisory Board, the International Bar Association, International Association for Asset Recovery, American Bankruptcy Institute, Turnaround Management Association and served on the Law360 Editorial Advisory Board.
Consistently ranked by Chambers USA as a ‘Leader in Their Field’ since 2005, Joe is a frequent speaker and a prolific author on a broad range of topics involving corporate reorganization, insolvency, financial restructuring, fraud, asset recovery and cross-border insolvencies.
- Represent (i) the five member Governing Trust Board appointed under the Joint Plan of Reorganization in the Life Partners case, who are charged with overseeing the two trustees of the trusts established thereunder and the implementation of the Joint Plan and (ii) the Trustee of the so-called Creditors’ Trust, who is charged with pursuing all claims and causes of action preserved under the Joint Plan and distributing the proceeds thereof to creditors/victims as required by the Joint Plan.
- Served as lead counsel for the Official Unsecured Creditors’ Committee for Life Partners Holdings, Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 after entry of a $47 million judgment in favor of the SEC. Life Partners managed a $2.4 billion insurance portfolio of “life settlements.” The Committee’s and Trustee’s Joint Plan was confirmed after a 5 week contested confirmation hearing, making it the first “life settlement” company to successfully emerge from bankruptcy with a confirmed Chapter 11 Plan.
- Representation of the Joint Liquidators of Stanford International Bank ("SIB") in SIB's liquidation proceeding pending before the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda. SIB is an international bank chartered under the laws of Antigua and Barbuda and was allegedly a key participant in the multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme of R. Allen Stanford. SIB’s Joint Liquidators reached a global agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC Receiver in the proceeding commenced in Texas regarding $300 million in assets located in Switzerland, Canada and the UK.
- Representation of the Receiver appointed in a proceeding commenced by the Securities and Exchange Commission, involving 63 separate defendants, in connection with an alleged oil and gas Ponzi scheme involving in excess of $700 million raised from over 8,000 investors. The Receiver was also appointed the Chapter 11 Trustee for 27 of the corporate defendants in the SEC proceeding. A joint plan of reorganization was confirmed within a year of filing and will pay creditors 100% plus interest.
- Representation of Quality One Wireless, LLC in the successful acquisition of the assets of Personal Communications Devices, LLC, a leading provider of wireless devices to service providers in the U.S., for approximately $125 million, in a New York Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.
- Representation of CSD, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company, in a Chapter 11 reorganization in the District of Nevada.CSD was formed in 2010 to acquire a 40 acre estate located in Las Vegas and to develop a museum honoring the life and career of “Mr. Las Vegas”, Wayne Newton. The bankruptcy was initiated in order to manage contentious and prolonged state court litigation and facilitate a prompt sale of the assets and a restructuring of the liabilities. The successful plan of reorganization was confirmed in nine months and paid 100% of allowed creditors’ claims.
- Representation of former New York Yankees' third baseman, Alex Rodriguez, the largest unsecured creditor in the Texas Rangers Baseball Partners bankruptcy, as a result of unpaid deferred compensation resulting from his 2001 record breaking $252 million contract, and a member of the Unsecured Creditors' Committee.
- Represented the Plan Administrator and sole executive for Texas Rangers Baseball Partners charged with implementing the plan of reorganization that paid all unsecured creditors in full through the sale of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club to a group led by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and sports attorney Chuck Greenburg.
- Represented a Texas high tech company in a series of acquisitions totaling $300 million for specialized tooling involving the production of 300 mm computer chips being sold by Qimonda Richmond, LLC that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware. The tooling was originally purchased by the debtor for $3.5 billion. Electrical Engineering Times described the acquisition as “a stunning discount.”