Successful Defense of Bank Against Fraud Claims
Obtained a dismissal with prejudice on behalf of a bank in a Florida trial court for lack of personal jurisdiction, and also obtained a per curiam affirmance by the Fifth District Court of Appeals. The plaintiff, a Florida corporation, alleged counts for theft, civil conspiracy and fraud against our client. The plaintiff alleged the bank and an officer were part of a conspiracy to transfer unit owners' deposit money in one development to another development in order to allow another bank to make a $30 million loan. Our client, an Indiana corporation, entered into a participation agreement with the original bank subsequent to the loan. The participation agreement was based on New York law with a Minnesota venue provision. The bank that initially issued the mortgage, and entered into the participation agreement with our client, was a Delaware corporation. The plaintiff argued on appeal that our client was a co-conspirator with the mortgage bank and, therefore, Florida had jurisdiction. We successfully argued that the participation agreement demonstrated the timeline for the transaction and that our client could not have participated in a conspiracy. Accordingly, the co-conspirator theory could not form the basis for jurisdiction. After oral argument, the Fifth District Court of Appeals issued a per curiam affirmance of the lower court's order dismissing our client for lack of minimum contacts under the Fourteenth Amendment.