Aresty Int'l Law Firm, P.C. v. Citibank, N.A., No. 11-2257 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Aresty International Law Firm deposited a check for $197,750.00 from a Citibank-held account into a Citizens Bank-held account, received clearance to transfer the funds from Citizens, and instructed Citizens to wire the funds from the account. Citizens did so, only to find later that the check had been fraudulent. Citizens sued Aresty and obtained a judgment slightly less than the amount of the check. Aresty sought to hold Citibank liable for the lost funds because of its alleged failure to abide by certain provisions of federal and state law. The district court dismissed the federal came as untimely and not subject to equitable tolling and found the state claim preempted by federal law. The First Circuit affirmed. Acknowledging that the sophisticated scam is difficult to detect until it is too late, the court stated that Aresty, nonetheless, “sat on its metaphorical hands” for 21 months past the date when it discovered its potential liability for the wired funds, so that equitable tolling cannot save its claim under Regulation CC (Expedited Funds Availability Act, 12 U.S.C. 4001-4010).