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Securities and Exchange Commission v. Learn Waterhouse

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


May 28, 2008

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LEARN WATERHOUSE, INC., ET AL. DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Thomas J. Whelan United States District Judge

RECEIVER'S AND HIS ORDER GRANTING PROFESSIONALS' FIFTH INTERIM APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL AND PAYMENT OF FEES AND EXPENSES

On October 12, 2004 the Securities and Exchange Commission commenced this securities action against Defendants Learn Waterhouse, Inc. ("LWI"), Randall T. Treadwell, Rick D. Sluder, Larry C. Saturday, and Arnulfo M. Acosta (collectively, "Defendants"). By order dated November 1, 2004 this Court granted a Preliminary Injunction freezing Defendants' assets, prohibiting the destruction of documents, requiring an accounting and repatriation of assets. The Court also appointed Thomas F. Lennon ("Receiver") as the permanent receiver authorized to take all actions necessary to protect the investors' assets.

In executing his duties, the Receiver has employed the San Diego law firm of Allen, Matkins, Leck, Gamble & Mallory ("Allen Matkins") and the Texas law firm of Neligan, Tarpley, Andrews & Foley LLP ("Neligan Tarpley").*fn1 The Receiver has also retained the services of William H. Ling ("Ling") and his staff, as a Certified Public Accountant. The Court has previously approved the Receiver's and his professionals' first, second, third and fourth interim fee applications. The Receiver and his professionals now seek approval and payment (subject to a 20% fee holdback) of their fifth interim fee applications, covering fees and costs from December 1, 2006 through February 29, 2008 (the "application period").

Having conducted a thorough review of the fee applications, the record in this case, the progress the Receiver and his professionals have made, and no opposition having been filed, the Court finds: (1) the Receiver's, Allen Matkins' and Ling's billing rates are reasonable given the circumstances of the case; and (2) the work they performed during the application period was reasonable and necessary. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS the Receiver's, Allen Matkins' and Ling's fee applications subject to the following conditions:

1. The Receiver applied for $36,704.50 in fees and $223.55 in costs. The Court approves the Receiver's request for fees and costs incurred during the application period and authorizes payment on an interim basis of 80% and 100%, respectively.

2. Ling applied for $3,687.50 in fees. The Court approves Ling's request for fees incurred during the application period and authorizes payment of 100% of the fees incurred during this application period.

3. Allen Matkins applied for $186,953.50 in fees and $4,006.79 in costs. The Court approves Allen Matkins' request for fees and costs incurred during the application period and authorizes payment on an interim basis of 80% and 100%, respectively.

4. The Receiver shall pay these amounts from available receivership estate assets no later than July 11, 2008.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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