The CCC filed a limited objection to Trustee Bodenstein's motion to increase the pay of PFGBest General Counsel, Rebecca Wing, while she works for the Trustee. In the Trustee's original motion, he requests authority to increase Ms. Wing's total pay--which includes all salary and bonuses--from $380,219.92 to $400,000. At present, the Trustee is paying for the administration of the case, including the salaries of all PFGBest employees, from about $24 million in unencumbered funds of the firm. The CCC objects to using funds which can be paid to customers for this purpose.
While the CCC understands that the Trustee may indeed require the services of Ms. Wing in order to quickly administer the estate, we find the request more than a little tone deaf. Firstly, the increase is applied to total compensation, not just her base salary. It also lacks any structure to pay the increase on the basis of production, which would provide a financial incentive to find and return property that belongs to customers. Moreover, to date customers have not received a single penny of their funds.
The primary reason for the raise--the retention of Ms. Wing--fails even cursory scrutiny. In a saturated legal market with record unemployment for attorneys, we find it highly improbable that Ms. Wing--the general counsel of a firm which is under investigation for a multi-million dollar fraud--will be darting out the door for another opportunity anytime soon. If one did come along, would a 5% bonus at a bankrupt firm with no future be enough to keep her around? While Ms. Wing has not been accused of any wrongdoing, it is doubtful that experience as a c-suite employee at PFGBest will be a boost to her resume.
Before we start dolling out customer money to Russ Wasendorf's executives, let's dole out some customer money to those who rightfully own it. Read the objection below: