Articles Posted in Federal Litigation

The elements required for pleading a civil conspiracy in Florida are (1) a conspiracy between two or more parties, (2) to do an unlawful act or to do a lawful act by unlawful means, (3) the doing of some overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, and (4) damage to the plaintiff as a result of the acts, performed in furtherance of the conspiracy.  Under Florida law, civil conspiracy is a derivative of the underlying claims which form the basis of the conspiracy.  The gist of a civil conspiracy is not the conspiracy itself but the civil wrong which is done through the conspiracy which results in injury to the Plaintiff.  There is no independent action for civil conspiracy.  Thus, generally an actionable conspiracy requires an actionable underlying tort or wrong.  An act which does not constitute a basis for a cause of action against one person cannot be made the basis for a civil action for conspiracy.  However, there is an exception to the rule where the plaintiff can show some peculiar power of coercion posses by the conspirators by virtue of their combination, which power an individual would not possess.

Please keep in mind that the above information is being provided for educational purposes only.  It is not intended to be complete in all material respects.  If you have any questions concerning the contents of the post, you should contact qualified counsel.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that it has filed an emergency action  and obtained a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against two individuals and two companies they control in connection with an alleged $6 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded at least 55 investors, many of whom are senior citizens or small business owners.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Neil Burkholz of Boca Raton, Florida, and Frank Bianco, of Pembroke Pines, Florida, through their companies Palm Financial Management LLC and Shore Management Systems LLC, solicited investors by falsely representing that their proprietary options trading strategies were highly profitable. In reality, as alleged in the complaint, defendants invested less than half of investor funds, and those investments resulted in near-total losses. The complaint alleges that defendants misappropriated the remaining funds by using them to repay other investors and by transferring approximately $880,000 of investor funds to themselves and their spouses for personal use. According to the SEC’s complaint, the defendants sent false reports to investors to conceal their fraudulent conduct and give the investors the false impression they were generating positive returns.

The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Miami, Florida on Nov. 14, and unsealed Monday, Nov. 18, charges the defendants with securities fraud and seeks certain emergency relief, as well as permanent injunctions, return of allegedly ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties. The complaint names Burkholz’s wife, Rhoda Burkholz, and Bianco’s wife, Suzanne Bianco, as relief defendants.

A Pure Bill of Discovery is an equity pleading which is granted pursuant to the Court’s auxiliary jurisdiction.  A Court’s jurisdiction usually consists of the right to decide a case or controversy between parties;  however, Florida Courts, also have the auxiliary power and jurisdiction to enter orders that a person or organization provide documents, submit to depositions or to otherwise comply with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure presuit.  A Pure Bill of Discovery can be utilized for a number of reasons.  For example, in a recently filed case a company had its computer system hacked.  Someone, then currently unknow, was able to access the company’s bank account electronically and directed the company’s bank to send two wire transfers to two seperate bank account created, by unknown parties, at a nationwide banking institution.  Both the company’s bank and the bank that received the funds into these third party accounts refused to provide, to the company, any of the written communications between the banks relative to this matter and the receiving bank has refused to provide any information to the company about who ownes the accounts that received the funds.  Hence, the necessity of filing a Pure Bill of Discovery so that this information can be discovered and acted upon by the company.  Obviously, time is of the essence in this type of circumstance.

A suit for discovery is initiated by a party filiing a “Complaint For Pure Bill Of Discovery” with either the county or circuit court as appropriate.  The complaint should allege the following: (1) the matters concerning which the discovery asked for is sought; (2) the interests of the several parties in the subject of the inquiry; (3) the complainant’s right to have the relief prayed, its title and interest and what the relationship of the same is to the discovery claimed and that the discovery so attempted to be had is material to the complainant’s rightss that have been duly brought into litigation on the common-law side of the couurt under circumstnaces that entitle the complainant to a disclosure of what is necessary to maintain its own claim in that litigation, and not that of the defendant in the case.  If the Complaint is granted, then the plaintiff, in this case the comapny, can ask the court for leave to conduct discovery using any of the methods allowed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.

Please keep in mind that the above information is being provided for educational purposes only.  It is not designed to be complete in all material respects.  If you have any questions concerning the contents of this post you should contact a qualified professional. 

In examining the concept of justifiable reliance, the Florida Supreme Court opined that the question is whether the recipient of a misrepresentation or omission is justified in relying upon its truth. For if the recipient “knows that it [the statement] or [omission] is false or its falsity is obvious to him/her, his/her reliance is improper, and there can be no cause of action for fraudulent misrepresentation.  This is particularly important in circumstances where the misrepresentation or omission is subsequently referenced in a written contract.  In such a circumstance, the Court has determined that notwithstanding oral misrepresentations prior to the making of a contract, a party cannot establish justifiable reliance and “may not recover in fraud for an alleged false statement when proper disclosure of the truth is subsequently revealed in a written agreement between the parties.

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With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

In Florida, the essential elements to establish a claim for fraudulent inducement are: (1) a false statement of material fact; (2) the maker of the false statement knew or should have known of the falsity of the statement; (3) the maker intended that the false statement induce another’s reliance; and (4) the other party justifiably relied on the false statement to its detriment.

Please keep in mind that this information if being provided for educational purposes only and is not designed to be complete in all material respects. If you have any questions, you should contact a qualified attorney.

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Boca Raton, Florida – Fraudulent Day Trading Scheme FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney:

SEC Charges Unregistered Broker in Tampa Area With Stealing From Investors in Fraudulent Day Trading Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged an unregistered broker living outside Tampa, Fla., with stealing investor funds as part of a fraudulent day trading scheme.

Boca Raton, Florida Misappropriation and Theft Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Dennis F. Wright, Civil Action No. 1:14-cv-01896-SHR (M.D. Pa)

Final Judgment and Administrative Order Entered Against Pennsylvania-Based Registered Representative Who Stole Funds from Customers

Boca Raton, Florida Investment and Advertising Fraud and Misrepresentation FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney:

SEC Charges Staten Island Man With Conducting Fraudulent Offerings and Stealing Investor Funds

The Securities and Exchange Commission trecently charged the operator of an online stock recommendation business with conducting several fraudulent securities offerings and siphoning some of the money raised from investors for a Caribbean vacation and plastic surgery.

Luciano Andres Battioli – Boca Raton, Florida Account Executive Conversion and Theft FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) is a self-regulatory authority assigned the responsibility, by the Securities and Exchange Commission, to license, regulate and discipline securities broker/dealers and their employees, including account executives. In the event that FINRA elects to institute an enforcement action, firms and licensed individuals have the responsibility to reflect such action on their U-4 and/or U-5 filings, which can be viewed on the FINRA website under the broker-check section of the site or by viewing the monthly disciplinary information also provided on the FINRA site.

The monthly disciplinary information is referenced on the FINRA site generally in alphabetical order. This post relates to the following company or individuals. If the reader would like to review the entire FINRA release or the broker-check information concerning this matter, you can follow these highlighted links:

Wealth Strategy Partners, LC, Harvey Altholtz, Stevens Resource Group, LLC and George Stevens – Boca Raton, Florida Investment Fund and Investment Advisor Fraud and Mismanagement Litigation and Arbitration Attorney

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Wealth Strategy Partners, LC, et al., Civil Action No. 14-CV-02427-JDW-TGW

SEC Charges General Partner and Investment Advisers to the Stealth and Adamas Funds with Fraud

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