Michael Rosow and Thomas Boyd may have come to law as a career from different paths, but they share a common devotion to their clients. Which is a good thing since they’ve been working closely together in litigation over the fallout from the third-largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history for nearly 12 years now.
Rosow holds his bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands and his law degree from the University of Minnesota. (His father is a lawyer, and he says he always knew he would be one.) Boyd earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa and earned his law degree there, too. (He says he went to law school to “buy time” when he graduated from college.) Today, the two are shareholders at Winthrop & Weinstine P.A.
In 2008, Minnesota businessman Tom Petters was arrested in connection with a Ponzi scheme connected to his businesses. Since then, the bankruptcy trustee has brought approximately 200 lawsuits against individuals and entities that interacted with Petters.
In 2019, Rosow and Boyd were retained by Steve Papadimos and Chris Kanios to appeal a $5.8 million judgment against them. Papadimos and Kanios had lent money to a Petters company in good faith between 1997 and 2006.
Although their loans had long ago been repaid, the bankruptcy trustee filed suit against them using a “Ponzi scheme presumption.” The presumption holds that anyone who lends to or invests in a company later found to be a Ponzi scheme should have to disgorge the funds they received, whether or not they were knowledgeable of or a part of the scheme.
Boyd and Rosow, with assistance from Kyle Kroll (an associate at Winthrop), sought to have the 8th Circuit reverse the judgment against Papadimos and Kanios. Ultimately they were able to convince the 8th Circuit that the Ponzi Scheme Presumption is contrary to Minnesota law.
Getting to that decision was a labor of dedication for the attorneys. They are happy they were able to win the cases for their clients, but also to help the court.
“Helping our clients in this case also ensures the law will be applied fairly in other cases,” Boyd said.
Read more about Minnesota Lawyer’s superb class of Attorneys of the Year for 2020 here.
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