Amir A. Isaiah, J.D., LL.M., is the director of receivership and fiduciary services at Kaufman, Rossin in Miami. While developing and overseeing this highly specialized practice area for the firm, Amir is routinely appointed receiver (an arm of the court) by both federal and state courts to assist in resolving complex disputes. “As receiver, I am often tasked with managing, operating, restructuring and/or liquidating various types of businesses, distressed real estate and other troubled assets.”
Recently, Amir was appointed receiver for an international multi-million dollar Ponzi/pyramid scheme based out of South Florida. “I am charged with identifying and retrieving assets of the receivership estate and effectuating an equitable distribution for nearly 2,000 defrauded investors hailing from thirteen states and eleven countries.”
Amir is sought after for his extensive experience by an alphabet soup of federal and state agencies, including the CFTC, FBI, FDIC, FTC, IRS, NFA, SEC, U.S. Dept. of Justice, U.S. Attorney, Attorney General of Florida & the Florida Division of Financial Services. Some of the many services he provides include forensic accounting, operational reviews, due diligence, business consulting, business turnarounds, real estate development consulting, and financial advisory in bankruptcy and insolvency-related matters.
What does he enjoy most about his work? “I take great pride in serving as an arm of the court, where I assume the role of a court-appointed neutral fiduciary, fraud investigator, temporary business owner, mediator and/or problem solver,” he answered. “I especially relish being a community savior with regard to condominium and homeowner associations. Oftentimes, they are on the brink of bankruptcy at the time I am appointed. Beyond that, I love teaching.”
Amir also serves as an adjunct professor of law at Florida International University College of Law, where he teaches courses on receiverships and bankruptcy. He is a co-author of ‘The Receivership Manual for the Florida Judiciary (Revised 2009)’ and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator. Amir holds dual Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees in real estate development, and taxation, from the University of Miami School of Law. He is a co-founder of the Florida Fiduciary Forum and a frequent guest speaker/panelist on the subject of receiverships and the role of fiduciaries. Amir also serves on the executive counsel of the Florida Bar’s Business Law Section, is co-chair of the federal courts committee of the Dade County Bar Association, and is a member of the advisory panel for the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists.
On top of it all, Amir is also a professional musician and graduate of the Berklee College of Music, a world-renowned jazz school. “I am often asked to perform at various community functions, such as the business law section retreat and the bankruptcy bar installation dinner. I love to do it. Music is one of my greatest passions. One of my dreams is to compose a major motion picture film score.”
So, what drives him to work so hard? “Being the youngest of four siblings, I had to compete just to get a word in at the dinner table,” he said. “I think that helped instill in me a strong drive to succeed. And so, growing up, whatever activity I was involved in, I would always try to knock the ball out of the park.”
What advice do you have for young professionals struggling to find their way? “I’m a big believer in what comes around goes around. I’ve received plenty of guidance along the way, so I enjoy being a mentor myself. I encourage everyone to go for it. Learn from your mistakes. It’s ok to fail, just don’t fail to try.”