Indep. Trust Corp. v. Stewart Info. Serv. Corp., No. 11-2108 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
The title company provided real estate closing services. From 1984 through 1995, it served as exclusive agent for defendant and managed an escrow account that defendant contractually agreed to insure. The title company was not profitable and its managers used escrow funds in a "Ponzi" scheme. In 1989, there was a $26 million shortfall. To fill the hole, the managers began looting another business, Intrust, to pay defendant's policyholders ($40.9 million) and to pay defendant directly ($27 million), so that defendant was a direct and indirect beneficiary of the title company's arrangement with Intrust. In 2000 the state agency learned that the funds were missing, took control of Intrust and placed it in receivership. In July 2010, the Receiver filed suit for money had and received, unjust enrichment, vicarious liability), aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, and conspiracy. The district court dismissed based on the statute of limitations. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The Illinois doctrine of adverse domination does not apply. That doctrine tolls the statute of limitations for a claim by a corporation against a nonboard-member co-conspirator of the wrongdoing board members.