The SEC filed SEC v. Horwitz in the Central District of California on April 5, 2021, alleging that Defendant Horowitz violated federal securities laws in connection with fraudulent promissory notes issued by Horwitz’s company. Specifically, the complaint alleges violations of Sections 17(a) of the Securities Act, 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act, and 10b-5 of the Exchange Act Rules.

Defendant Horwitz was the owner and operator of Defendant 1inMM, which purported to be a company in the business of obtaining distribution rights to certain movies in order to license those rights to media companies like Netflix and HBO.

Continue Reading New Complaint – SEC v. Horwitz

Trinh Ngoc Pham v. The Church for the Healthy Self, A/K/A CHS Trust, et al. is a putative class action filed in the Superior Court of California seeking damages related to a church-based investment scheme propped up by Ponzi-type payments.

Plaintiff is an individual who invested into the defendants’ church under the impression that the funds would be used to open an investment account in the plaintiff’s name.  Defendants are entities related to a now-defunct church, whose pastor pleaded guilty to mail fraud and filing a false federal income tax return related to the scheme alleged in the complaint.

Plaintiff alleges that she was coerced into investing based on the false promise of 10% annual returns, tax free, and that a portion would be donated to charity.  However, the defendants had no real returns, did not open an account in the plaintiff’s name as promised, and purportedly used her investment to enrich themselves.  Plaintiff further alleges that the defendants kept the scheme afloat by making Ponzi-type payments to new investors as needed.

The plaintiff brings claims for fraud and misrepresentation on behalf of a putative class of all individuals who invested money into the defendants from 2014 through 2020.

In a recent decision in Anderjaska v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., the Southern District of New York decided that three national banks were not subject to general jurisdiction in New York for allegedly aiding and abetting a Ponzi scheme.

Anderjaska highlights the utility of procedural mechanisms when defending against Ponzi-related allegations in a forum where a bank neither has its principal place of business nor its place of incorporation.  Such procedural tools should not be overlooked as a means to defend litigation.

Continue Reading Personal Jurisdiction – An Effective Defense As Illustrated by the Southern District of New York in Dismissing Ponzi Litigation

Elghossain v. Bank of Audi, et al. was filed in the Southern District of New York on March 11, 2021, claiming that Plaintiffs were victims of a Ponzi scheme within the Lebanese banking system.

Plaintiffs are a married couple—both citizens and residents of the United States.  The defendants are two Lebanese banks, Bank Audi and Banque Du Liban.

Continue Reading New Complaint – Elghossain v. Bank of Audi, et al.

Peters v. Gallun, et al. was filed in the Central District of California on February 18, 2021, claiming civil damages for violations of securities law, breach of contract, and conversion.

Plaintiff is an individual working as a movie producer in California (“Peters”).  The defendants are an individual acting as a business manager and equine sales agent (“Gallun”) and Gallun’s limited liability company.

Continue Reading New Complaint – Peters v. Gallun, et al.

EHC Aspen Properties, LLC v. CCUR Holdings, Inc., et al. was filed in the Superior Court of California for Orange County on March 15, 2021, asserting that the Defendants coerced Plaintiff into investing in an aircraft financing Ponzi scheme.

Plaintiff is limited liability company in California managed by Luis Serrano.  The defendants are three entities—CCUR Holdings, Inc., CCUR Aviation Finance, LLC, and JDS1, LLC—and an individual, Igor Volshteyn.

Continue Reading New Complaint – EHC Aspen Properties, LLC v. CCUR Holdings, Inc., et al.

Ebury Street Capital, LLC, et al. v. McOsker, et al. was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware on February 12, 2021, claiming civil damages for an alleged $3.5  million Ponzi scheme perpetrated by the defendants.

Plaintiffs are entities in the business of buying tax lien certificates, and defendants are individuals and entities who purported to be legitimate brokers and market-makers for the selling and trading of tax lien certificates.

Continue Reading New Complaint – Ebury Street Capital, LLC, et al. v. McOsker, et al.

Ocean Development Partners, LLC (MA) and Ocean Development Partners (RI) v. Dmity Deych, et al. was filed in the Superior Court of Suffolk County, Massachusetts on March 11, 2021, seeking damages and equitable relief for federal statutory and state law claims related to the defendants’ purported scheme to defraud the purchasers of certain real estate.

Plaintiffs are limited liability companies located in Massachusetts and Rhode Island that entered into an agreement to purchase a real estate development project and luxury vacation community (the “Investment”).  The defendants are individuals and entities who, largely unbeknownst to plaintiffs, likewise had an ownership or other interest in the Investment.

Continue Reading New Complaint – Ocean Development Partners, LLC, et al. v. Dmity Deych, et al.

Mar v. Mohr, et al. was filed in a California state court on February 11, 2021 as a putative class action for $170 million in civil damages against alleged co-conspirators of a retirement planning fraudster’s business.  Specifically, the complaint alleges violations of California securities law, fraud and deceit, intentional misrepresentation, and negligent misrepresentation.

The named plaintiff is an individual investor who seeks to represent two classes amounting to over 100 other investors.  The defendants include an individual (“Mohr”) and his corporate entity, EquiAlt, LLC.  Mohr purported to provide retirement planning services alongside his licensed business of selling life insurance.  Mohr’s attorney (“Wassgren”) and unnamed Doe defendants are also included in the suit.

Continue Reading New Complaint – Mar v. Mohr, et al.