Trustee Wants TelexFree’s Merrill To Appear At Meeting Next Week, Setting Stage For Potential 5th Amendment Showdown In Front Of Large Crowd

James Merrill.

James Merrill.

BULLETIN: TelexFree Trustee Stephen B. Darr today asked Judge Melvin S. Hoffman for an order that would compel TelexFree executive James Merrill to appear at a meeting of creditors at 11 a.m. on Feb. 10 at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Mass.

Darr also wants Hoffman to designate Merrill as TelexFree’s corporate representative, setting the stage for him to be questioned by the office of the U.S. Trustee, an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice that participates in bankruptcy cases.

Carlos Wanzeler, another TelexFree principal, reportedly fled to Brazil in 2014, a circumstance that makes Merrill the only remaining shareholder known to be on U.S. soil. Merrill, who faces criminal charges of operating a Ponzi scheme, has been under close supervision with an ankle monitor since 2014, although he is permitted to leave his Massachusetts home to attend court functions and certain other events.

An appearance by Merrill at the meeting potentially sets the stage for him to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination before a large crowd at Mechanics Hall. On Jan. 13, the Telegram & Gazette reported that Darr had made plans to accommodate up to 1,000 people at the meeting, owing to the immense size of the TelexFree scheme.

Mechanics Hall, which calls itself “an acoustical masterpiece,” typically is known as a venue for music and performances.

“The historic performance hall, which can hold about 1,600 people, is an unusual choice for a meeting of bankruptcy creditors,” the Telegram & Gazette reported last month.”In most Worcester bankruptcy cases, creditors meet in a small room in a downtown office building.”

Hoffman already has ruled TelexFree a Ponzi- and pyramid scheme. Darr has said it generated about $3 billion in illicit business.

In an MLM clawback case for the ages, Darr is suing tens of thousands of alleged “winners.”

Read Darr’s motion to compel Merrill’s attendance.

UPDATE 6:08 P.M. Feb. 8. Randall G. Reese, via Twitter (@Chapter11Cases), is showing a screen shot of a document today that says Merrill opposes the motion to appear on Wednesday and questions whether his right to a fair trial in the criminal case could be compromised if he is forced to appear at the meeting. See shot in No. 2 position in Comments thread below.

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3 Responses to “Trustee Wants TelexFree’s Merrill To Appear At Meeting Next Week, Setting Stage For Potential 5th Amendment Showdown In Front Of Large Crowd”

  1. Quick note: The judge has set a hearing on the motion to compel for Monday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m.


  2. Proceeding Memorandum/Order of Court Continuing Motion of Chapter 11 Trustee to Compel James Merrill to Appear at the Debtors’ Scheduled Section 341 Meetin


    hearing held. the motion of chapter 11 trustee to compel is continued generally

    what is this?