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Trustee Smells Something in Fishery Bankruptcy, and It's HSBC

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

China Fishery had a noble plan to feed the world, but it didn't quite work out.

The company, which owned the world's largest factory ship, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2016. A court trustee has managed to liquidate some assets to pay creditors, but is investigating one in particular.

The trustee issued subpoenas to HSBC in the case, and now an appeals court has stymied the bank's efforts to block the subpoenas. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals said it doesn't have jurisdiction over the matter.

No Final Order

Generally, parties must wait for a final order before filing an appeal. There are exceptions, but none applied for HSBC.

"This court has determined that it lacks jurisdiction over this appeal because a final order has not been issued by the district court," the court ruled.

As a result, the trustee has a clear path to discovery. In one news interview, William Brandt said he needs data from the bank to "educate" himself.

However, the Wall Street Journal said that Brandt is looking into HSBC's aggressive collection tactics.

"Largely Successful"

"Some creditors may have overstepped their bounds," he said.

Brandt has been "largely successful" in the court battle with HSBC, the Journal reported. The bank tried to delay compliance with court orders, but it hasn't worked.

HSBC claims the fishery business owes it more than $100 million. China Fishery is part of Pacific Andes Group, which comprises one of the largest seafood operations in the world.

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