George R. Calhoun

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Biography

A business counselor at heart, George R. Calhoun V is a litigator who knows how to win in a courtroom, at the settlement table, or in arbitration. By putting his clients’ goals and objectives first, he is adept at devising case strategies that achieve his clients’ definition of success. George is chair of Ifrah’s Financial Services practice.

George’s practice primarily focuses on the litigation of complex disputes for clients in a broad array of disciplines, including contracts, consumer financial services, securities regulation, corporate disputes, real estate, fraud, bankruptcy, and other business claims. He has an extensive background in dispute resolution, having appeared before numerous state and federal courts on behalf of clients ranging from publicly traded companies to large multi-national corporations to individuals. He also regularly appears before bankruptcy courts on behalf of creditors and other interested parties. George currently serves as Vice Chair to the Corporate Counseling and Litigation Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section. Prior to joining Ifrah, George was Special Counsel at an Am Law 100 firm where he focused on complex litigation and business disputes.

Teaming with other Ifrah attorneys in niche areas like digital media, millennial marketing, e-commerce, health care, and iGaming, George is called upon to review compliance programs, contracts, and advertising materials through the lens of a litigator, helping to mitigate possible litigation claims or enforcement actions. He is able to apply nearly two decades of traditional business litigation experience to Ifrah’s emerging internet and technology company clients; he anticipates and addresses possible compliance issues with financial and consumer protection regulations including the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), plus potential contractual issues, investment disputes, or other business issues.

At Ifrah, George embraces the “hands on” approach that is part of the firm’s culture and enjoys working closely with clients on their most important matters. Through a combination of lean staffing, early case assessment strategies, and a keen understanding of both legal and business goals, George leverages the best of a boutique law practice while drawing on his “big law” experience to provide efficient and effective counsel.

 

Professional + Community

  • American Bar Association; Member; Vice Chair to Corporate Counseling and Litigation Subcommittee of the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee
Publications + Presentations
September 13, 2018 | Presentation

"Executive Panel: How to keep the momentum going"

2018 U.S. EGR Power Summit - Miami, FL

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August 30, 2017 | Publication

"US: The Path Towards Expansion"

InterGameOnline

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October 6, 2016 | Presentation

"Litigation Forum: Litigation vs. ADR – Practical Issues From Drafting to Enforcement"

Association of Corporate Counsel, National Capitol Region

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September 22, 2016 | Publication

"Accusation Superhighway: Is IC3 Hurting Emerging Online Businesses?"

Corporate Compliance Insights

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July 20, 2016 | Presentation

"CFPB’s Proposed Arbitration Ban – What You Need To Know"

American Bar Association

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Case Studies

Ifrah Law Achieves Swift Removal of Payment Processing Client from OFAC List in Highly Unusual Government Action

In September 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced it had designated Ifrah Law’s client, a legitimate international business, as a transnational criminal organization. Our client had conducted its business for decades without incident, providing payment processing solutions for direct mail, eCommerce, gaming, charitable, and other customers.

The OFAC designation of a legitimate business was the first of its kind, having been previously limited to terrorist and organized crime entities, such as the Yakuza, MS-13, and Saddam Hussein. The designation indicated that OFAC was expanding its authority under its legal mandate. Given the novelty of this designation, the company contacted Ifrah Law based on our background and extensive experience representing payment processors: understanding their business was critical to our ability to combat the Government’s misperceptions about the payment processing business.

First, we began an internal investigation. As the OFAC designation was a surprise to the company, and the Treasury Department had no obligation to explain the basis for the designation, we needed to determine why our client had been targeted.

We also needed to address the reverberating effects of the designation on our client. An OFAC designation results in the prohibition of U.S.-based businesses including banks from working with a designee. Our client lost the ability to pay employees, vendors, and general expenses and eventually was forced to close its operations.

Ifrah Law achieved some of the swiftest ever removals from OFAC’s SDN list, including all of the 12 individuals named. One year after the initial listing, OFAC finally signed an agreement to remove our client’s companies, officers and employees from the SDN List. We continue to represent this client in actions concerning the financial situation of the now defunct company, and to ameliorate the damage caused by the listing on both individual and corporate reputations. Our work on this case was featured in The American Lawyer.

Ifrah Law Negotiates Complete Withdrawal of All Counts of Possible Class Action Suit

A former contractor for a long standing firm client filed a class action suit in the Eastern District of Virginia (the famed “Rocket Docket”) based upon alleged tax and Fair Labor Standard Act infringement claims in connection with contract services purportedly provided by the plaintiff to our client in connection with a government contract for security services at an overseas military base.

Ifrah’s team, led by partner George Calhoun, first succeeded in attaining a swift dismissal of the class action tax claims based on the inapplicability of the tax statute at issue to purported employee misclassification.  The plaintiff also was forced to amend its complaint to eliminate its employment law claims because the FLSA does not apply to contractors or employees based overseas. The client was thus relieved of the initial threat of a large scale and costly class action suit.

The plaintiff nonetheless continued to pursue the suit against our client based on an individual breach of contract claim. Through the effective discovery conducted by Ifrah’s litigation group, we were able to limit any possible claims by the plaintiff.  Most tellingly, we established that the plaintiff had made – and was making – inconsistent claims in his discovery responses and in a lawsuit brought against a third party.

Based on these facts, Mr. Calhoun persuaded opposing counsel to dismiss all claims, ultimately relieving our client from any financial or legal liability.

Collecting Judgments in International Jurisdictions

Partner George Calhoun recently secured a significant victory for a client in a long running effort to collect a multibillion dollar judgment.

The firm’s client, Motorola Solutions Credit Company LLC, secured a judgment in the United States against defendants who had sought to defraud the company.  In an attempt to avoid collection, the judgment debtors refused to provide discovery and hid their assets – using multiple nominee owners and shell companies all over the world.  Working with talented investigators, George located significant assets held through shell companies in far flung jurisdictions like Hong Kong, Singapore and Jordan.

George Calhoun led the effort to domesticate Motorola Solutions’ judgment in those foreign jurisdictions and collect from the defendants.  Ifrah’s team successfully navigated the disparate foreign laws and obtained judgment in Hong Kong and Singapore.  In response to those collection efforts, the debtors attempted to sell off assets held through a Jordanian holding company, which was itself the principle asset of the Hong Kong and Singapore entities.  Ifrah’s team succeeded in obtaining an injunction and then getting receivers appointed to halt the attempted transfer of assets.  Through the receivership process, Ifrah eventually achieved the sale of the Jordanian company’s primary asset – a controlling interest in a Jordanian bank.  That sale closed in January 2017 and Ifrah’s client received over $50 million from the sales proceeds in March, 2017.

We continue to seek full enforcement of the judgment through the continued search, identification and liquidation of the judgment debtors’ assets across international jurisdictions.

This case highlights Ifrah Law’s strong ability to follow up on judicial success by creating and implementing successful strategies to locate and collect judgments, especially in a global context. George, who leads our Financial Services and Commercial Litigation practice, brings litigation savvy coupled with decades of experience in insolvency and creditor’s rights law to our team. Over the course of his career, he has developed a strong network of relationships with international lawyers, regulators and organizations, giving him the ability to skillfully navigate domestic and overseas jurisdictions with widely divergent legal systems for the ultimate benefit of his clients.

Blog Posts
June 4, 2018

Effective Sports Betting Regulation Must Cover Mobile and Online Betting, Too.

Effective Sports Betting Regulation Must Cover Mobile and Online Betting, Too.

On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”), clearing the way for states to legalize sports gambling. In its wake, many states are now rushing to do just that. Currently fourteen states have legislation pending that would authorize some degree of sports wagering. An additional five… Read More

April 19, 2018

New York AG Puts Crypto Exchanges in the Crosshairs

New York AG Puts Crypto Exchanges in the Crosshairs

Following on the heels of the SEC’s announcement of subpoenas to crypto exchanges and token issuers, yesterday New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced “the Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative,” which he described as “a fact-finding inquiry into the policies and practices of platforms used by consumers to trade virtual or ‘crypto’ currencies like bitcoin and… Read More

February 20, 2018

Coming Soon: Digital Asset Regulation

Coming Soon: Digital Asset Regulation

In January, Bitcoin dropped to approximately 50% of its 2017 peak price.  Other digital currencies saw similar declines. Most market observers blamed these massive price fluctuations on related events: (i) widespread reports of fraud and price manipulation, and (ii) increasing prospects for the regulation of digital assets and currencies. Indeed, 2018 has brought us federal… Read More

January 10, 2018

The Perverse Impact of Indiana’s Proposed “Integrity Fee” in Sports Gaming

The Perverse Impact of Indiana’s Proposed “Integrity Fee” in Sports Gaming

Anticipating a positive ruling from the Supreme Court in Christie vs. NCAA, legislators in Indiana have introduced a new sports wagering bill.  Unfortunately, the bill includes a previously unseen poison pill in the form of a 1% “integrity fee” payable to the governing sports bodies: A sports wagering operator shall remit to a sports governing… Read More

October 25, 2017

Congress Saves Consumer Arbitration

Congress Saves Consumer Arbitration

In July 2017, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“CPFB”) announced a new rule broadly barring arbitration provisions in a wide swath of consumer contracts.  See 12 CFR part 1040.  To go into effect next Spring, the final rule would have prohibited providers of certain consumer financial products and services from using an agreement with… Read More

Crime in the Suites | FTC Beat | Ifrah on iGaming