Fabrica de Muebles J.J. Alvare v. Inversiones Mendoza, Inc., No. 11-1985 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff contracted to sell a furniture business to Mendoza in 2004. Westernbank provided partial funding and obtained a first mortgage. To secure a deferred payment of $750,000, Mendoza signed a mortgage in favor of plaintiff and a contract under which plaintiff consigned goods with expected sales value of more than $6,000,000. An account was opened at Westernbank for deposit of sales proceeds. Plaintiff alleges that Westernbank kept funds to which plaintiff was entitled for satisfaction of Mendoza’s debts to Westernbank. Mendoza filed for bankruptcy and transferred its real estate to Westernbank in exchange for release of debt to the bank. Plaintiff agreed to forgive unpaid debts in order to obtain relief from the stay and foreclose its mortgage, then sued Westernbank, employees, and insurers, alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. 1961-68, and Puerto Rico law causes of action. After BPPR became successor to Westernbank, plaintiff agreed to dismiss the civil law fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims and the RICO claim. The district court later dismissed remaining claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over non-federal claims. The First Circuit affirmed.