Peter B. Zlotnick practices as a commercial litigator, focusing on real estate matters and complex construction defect litigation. His clients include commercial and residential developers, co-op and condominium boards, design professionals, private equity firms and high net worth individuals. He also litigates corporate governance, business torts, bankruptcy and other types of business disputes. In addition, Peter serves as a federal equity receiver in consumer fraud federal equity receiverships for the Federal Trade Commission.
“Success means improving my relationships with those around me, particularly my clients and colleagues. It also means identifying what my client’s needs and objectives are and then executing on those needs and objectives. If one can do that, then one is successful.”
Another major case was a $35 million wireless telecommunications fraud that I worked on, FTC v. Metropolitan Communications Corp; 94 Civ 0142. (S.D.N.Y. 1994) (JSR). It was my first federal equity receivership. I represented the receiver, who on day one of the receivership had to figure out how to recover approximately $35 million worth of wireless telecommunications licenses. The Federal Communications Commission had issued the licenses on a “first come/first serve basis”; these were quickly becoming worthless because the defendants had deceived consumers into believing they could acquire and operate those licenses at a cost and in a manner that they could not do. The defendants had misrepresented to consumers that they could build and operate their systems for $7,500, when the actual cost to do so was approximately $250,000. The problem was that these FCC licenses were wasting assets; if the consumers did not construct and operate their cellular systems within eight months of acquiring them, they would lose those licenses. This is exactly what happened to many consumers by the time the receiver was appointed. To make matters worse, the rest of the licenses were about to expire. We petitioned the FCC to grant a waiver of its eight-month use it-or-lose-it rule. Prior to the receiver’s petition, the FCC had never granted such a petition. With the endorsement of two United States Senators, the receivership team obtained a rule waiver from the Commission. A four month extension of the eight-month time period was granted for each license obtained by the receivership on behalf of the defendants’ customers, including those consumers whose licenses had already expired. This enabled us to bundle all the licenses together and sell them as a package to Nextel Corp. As a result of that rule waiver and the license sale transaction, more than 4,000 consumers received all of their money back, and Nextel went on to become a major player in the wireless telecommunications marketplace.