Melonia A. Bennett

Associate

Columbus
T +1.614.462.2623
F +1.614.462.2616

Overview

Melonia Bennett is a member of the BakerHostetler team serving as court-appointed counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS), an unprecedented recovery effort involving hundreds of actions. Additionally, Melonia's practice includes consumer financial legal services, focusing on complex commercial litigation and regulatory compliance for financial services companies. She approaches her work with great enthusiasm and a pragmatic outlook. 

During law school, Melonia served as the chief managing editor of the Entrepreneurial Business Law Journal at The Ohio State University.

Select Experience

  • In the BLMIS liquidation, Melonia is currently working on avoidance actions against financial institutions that invested in underlying BLMIS feeder funds, identifying evidence, drafting complaints and briefs, and conducting necessary legal research.
  • Defending entities and their claims in bankruptcy-related litigation, including recovery actions and actions for fraudulent transfers and preferences. 
Financial Services
  • Counsels financial services companies concerning federal and state regulatory and compliance matters.
  • Provides guidance to financial services companies on compliance with respect to CLA, FDCPA, FCRA, ECOA, FCBA, EFTA, HMDA and related regulations. 
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Experience

  • In the BLMIS liquidation, Melonia is currently working on avoidance actions against financial institutions that invested in underlying BLMIS feeder funds, identifying evidence, drafting complaints and briefs, and conducting necessary legal research.
  • Defending entities and their claims in bankruptcy-related litigation, including recovery actions and actions for fraudulent transfers and preferences. 
Financial Services
  • Counsels financial services companies concerning federal and state regulatory and compliance matters.
  • Provides guidance to financial services companies on compliance with respect to CLA, FDCPA, FCRA, ECOA, FCBA, EFTA, HMDA and related regulations. 
  • Advises bitcoin exchange and broker operations in addressing state money transmitter licensing, money services business registration under FinCEN regulations, and anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance. 
  • Assists money services businesses (MSBs) in enhancing their BSA/AML compliance programs. 
  • Advises MSBs, auto lenders and consumer loan brokers about state licensing requirements across the country.
  • Completes training and compliance counseling, including preparation of policies and procedures, for financial services companies relating to state and federal lending laws. 
  • Provides retail installment sales companies with ECOA and FCRA disclosures and disclosure guidance and with licensing requirements across the country.
  • Counsels institutions on requirements of bank service providers under the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s regulations.
  • Counsels national credit card processing companies on structuring complex transactions under National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) rules.

Recognitions and Memberships

Memberships

  • American Bar Association 
    • Business Law Section
    • Consumer Financial Services Committee
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Ohio Women’s Bar Association
  • Columbus Bar Association

News

News

Community

  • Women's Business Centers of Ohio: Advisory Board Member

Pro Bono

  • The Legal Aid Society of Columbus, Chapter 7 Pro Bono Bankruptcy Project

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, 2015
  • Ohio

Education

  • J.D., The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, 2011; Chief Managing Editor, The Ohio State Entrepreneurial Business Law Journal, 2010 to 2011
  • B.S., Economics, Miami University, 2008, Miami University Presidential Distinguished Service Award
  • B.A., Political Science, Miami University, 2008

Blog

In The Blogs

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The Blockchain Monitor
Stablecoins Launch in US Amid Multiple Securities Enforcement Actions and Bid to Repurpose DoD Data Center for Cryptocurrency Mining
By Brian P. Bartish, Melonia A. Bennett, Njeri S. Chasseau, Robert A. Musiala Jr., Jaime B. Petenko
September 14, 2018
In this issue: • Stablecoins Launch in US as New Data Cites Drop in ICO Funding • SEC and FINRA Issue First-of-Their-Kind Enforcement Actions • Blockchain Enterprise Developments: Mining, Digital Identities and Food Supply Chain •...
Read More ->
Financial Services Blog
OCC Announces It Will Begin Accepting Fintech Charter Applications
By Melonia A. Bennett
August 1, 2018
On July 31, 2018, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced that it will begin accepting applications for special purpose national bank charters from financial technology companies. This “fintech charter” is limited to...
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The Blockchain Monitor
Investments, Pilots and Patents: Recent Blockchain Developments
By Melonia A. Bennett, Robert A. Musiala Jr., Simone O. Otenaike
July 27, 2018
In this issue: • Investment Continues Across Private and Public Sectors • Initiatives Announced in Healthcare, Emissions, Airlines and Public Sectors • Continue to Seek IP Rights Amid Evolving Patent Landscape Blockchain Investment...
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The Blockchain Monitor
Risk and Regulation in AML/Tax, ICO Scrutiny, Provenance POCs
By Melonia A. Bennett, John C. McIlwee, Robert A. Musiala Jr., Panida A. Pollawit
July 13, 2018
In this issue: • Cryptocurrency Global Regulations Tighten as Financial Crime Risks Intensify • Global Tax Regimes Evolve With Varied Perspectives as Market Seeks Clarity • Latest Trends for ICOs: Success Rate and Government Scrutiny of...
Read More ->
The Blockchain Monitor
Blockchain Developments: U.S. Government, Criminal Actors, Advertising, Financial Services
By Melonia A. Bennett, Simone O. Otenaike, Diana J. Stern, Joanna F. Wasick
June 22, 2018
In this issue: • U.S. Government Seeks to Leverage Blockchain, Issues Reporting Guidance • Cyberhacks and Enforcement Actions Continue Relentlessly • Consumer Products Firms Announce Blockchain Advertising Pilots • Financial Firms Continue...
Read More ->