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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Financial Services Blog
Mulvaney Issues Report Outlining Proposals to Reform CFPB
By Ruth E. Hartman
April 17, 2018
Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its semiannual report (the “Report”) to the President and Congress. In the Report, Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney proposes to significantly reform the CFPB’s...
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Financial Services Blog
Tax Reform's Impact on Financing Strategies
By Elyssa S. Kates
April 4, 2018
As more of the dust settles after the December 2017 passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, P.L. 115-97, borrowers and lenders alike are reconsidering their future financing strategies. One of the more significant changes in the tax law is...
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Financial Services Blog
Banks, Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Institutions Face May 11 Deadline To Comply with FinCEN's Customer Due Diligence Rule
By Andrew W. Reich
April 2, 2018
Six years after the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) originally proposed its Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Rule, the deadline for financial institutions to comply draws near. Banks, broker-dealers, mutual funds and futures...
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Financial Services Blog
D.C. Circuit Overturns Parts of the FCC’s Expansive Interpretation of the TCPA
March 29, 2018
On March 16, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a long-anticipated decision that vacated in part, and affirmed in part, portions of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) July 10, 2015...
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Financial Services Blog
D.C. Circuit Overturns Parts of the FCC's Expansive Interpretation of the TCPA
By Matthew K. Cowherd
March 29, 2018
On March 16, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a long-anticipated decision that vacated in part, and affirmed in part, portions of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) ...
Read More ->