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
Maersk Pilot Goes Live, Cyberthefts and Enforcement Actions Continue Across Globe
By Melonia A. Bennett, Jonathan D. Blattmachr, John C. McIlwee
June 1, 2018
In this issue: • New Waters Charted for Blockchain in Marine Insurance • Cyber-hacks Continue to Plague Cryptocurrency Industry • New Enforcement Actions in the U.S. and Abroad New Waters Charted for Blockchain in Marine Insurance By: John...
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Financial Services Blog
Supreme Court Resolves Circuit Split Over Application of Section 546(e) to Transactions Involving Conduits
By Adam L. Fletcher, Eric R. Goodman
May 31, 2018
The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc., 138 S.Ct. 883 (2018), held that transfers made by or to entities that are not “financial institutions” or other covered entities fall outside the...
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Financial Services Blog
Congress Passes Repeal of CFPB Guidance on Indirect Auto Lender Liability for Discriminatory Lending
By M. Mitchell Oates
May 16, 2018
The U.S. House of Representatives voted last Tuesday to reject a 2013 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) bulletin that provided guidance regarding liability for discrimination in indirect auto lending. The same measure passed the...
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Financial Services Blog
Eleventh Circuit Sides with Wells Fargo on Post-Class Certification Motion to Compel Arbitration
By Douglas L. Shively
May 14, 2018
Wells Fargo achieved a significant victory on Thursday in decade-old litigation over allegedly unlawful overdraft fees when the Eleventh Circuit held that Wells Fargo had not waived its right to compel arbitration as to the unnamed...
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Financial Services Blog
CFPB Auto Lending Rule May Be on the Way Out
By Kyle T. Cutts
April 30, 2018
An Obama-era regulation intended to restrain discriminatory lending practices by automobile lenders appears to be on its way out. On April 18, under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the Senate voted to repeal the Consumer Financial...
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