Garcia v Banco BCT S.A.

Annotate this Case
Download PDF
Garcia v Banco BCT S.A. 2018 NY Slip Op 32989(U) November 28, 2018 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 155078/2017 Judge: O. Peter Sherwood Cases posted with a "30000" identifier, i.e., 2013 NY Slip Op 30001(U), are republished from various New York State and local government sources, including the New York State Unified Court System's eCourts Service. This opinion is uncorrected and not selected for official publication. [*[FILED: 1] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AM] INDEX NO. 155078/2017 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 SlJt•t{l~!\'11~ C~<>lJRT STA~fE t)F THE (.;otrN'"f\' ()ft NE\\1 ~'()l{K: 0}"' NE\V YOl{K (~()J\tlMI~liCli\l.1 IJIVISl<.>N 1>ART 49 -------------------------------------------X TRlJSTEE OF 1"1-IE \tIDA EC~OL-0(;1(~1\ 'rl{llS"r, Vl(~'r(ll{ (;,.\l~(:IA, DEC~ISION l'lai11tiff, ANJ) ORllEI~ l11dex No.: 155078/2017 -against1\'lot. Seq. No.: 003 JJ.~NC:() ll(~l~ S.A., B~,\N(:O RC:T INTERNAC:IClN.t\I"', 1\NI) i\l{l ..:L \/ ISHNl1\ B~;\l{lJ(~H, Defendants. - - - - - - - - - - - ~ - - - - - - - - - - ~ - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - -- -X (). Pl~'"fF:I~ SIIEl{\VOOD, J.: ()n a 1notion to disn1iss . the fi1cts arc taken fron1 the con1plaint and are assun1ed to be trut. 1 l\ccording to the Second /\n1cndcd (~on1plaint (NYSC~I~r· Ciarcia is a principal of First C.\>sta Ilican l...cgal and \1 ~rrust Doc. No. 29). plainti1T Victor S.1\ ... an{l court appointed trustee of the ida I:coloeica -rrust (the . rrust }. T'he ·-1·rust,'. \Vhich held about $62 rniltion . ·. ~ .· • \Vas created bv John ...,. fJcnder and i\nn r)atton in about 2005 to create a \vi l.dlife reserve in c:osta Rica a11d prov'ide lt)r the support and n1aintenancc of Patton. Non-party Juan de [)ios 1\lvarcz i\guilar (1\lvare.z), an attorney . \Vas established as the trustee. l-le quickly began stealing from the ·rru.st. l\ftcr Hcndcr"s death in 2010, .l\lvarcz acce1erated his thefls. Alvarez even used Trust assets to in11)li~ate l)aUon in Bender"s death'! and to keep her hospitalized and in1prisoncd \vhilc f\1varcz stole tens of n1illions of dollars. 1\s Costa Rica has no double jeopardy rule~ Patton is no\v a\vaiting her tt)UJ1h trial. She has been t:onvicted once . \Vhich \vas then overturned . and acquitted t\v1cc ../.\lvarcz has been ren1oved as trustee, and the nc\v trustee brings this suit. i\lvarcz sought help fron1 defendant 1\riel Vishnia J]aruch (Vishnia) . an officer of defendant Banco 13c~·r~ l~Cvr S.1\. (BC~T), a (,osta Rican bank. Banco B(~rr Internacional (I3BI . and \vith the f3anks) is an a1liliatc or dcpartrnent of BC'l'l', based in Pana1na. 'J·he Banks held the ·rrust '.'s funds. /\Jvarcz controlled the ·rrust funds. Because of those funds and his la\v lirn1 . s funds held at the [~anks~ /\lvarcz \Vas an i111portant client. Vi.shnia is a principal '"'ith i3(:··r and sits on its Executive C:"or111nittee~ as \ve11 as other con1n1itt.ees. f·le is also lhc ncphc\v of the president and n1ajority shareholder of C~orporacion fJc,·r 1 2 of 18 [*!FILED: 2] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AM] INDEX NO. 155078/2017 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 S.:\ .. \Vhit:h o\vns the banks. \lishnia \Vas .li\lvarez's prin1ary contact at Bc~·1· and personalfy recei \·ed l\lvarcz· s fund transfer requests. Vishnia took payrncnts fr<)fn l\lvarez to allO\\: i\lvarcz to loot the ~rrust.. including the purchased all of the sale proceeds \Vere then t\VO ·rrust properties at belo\,v-n1arkct prices. So1ne or lransfen~ed to i\lvarcz"s personal accounts or accounts belonging to hi s fi:u n 11 "v. l'he [~anks \Vere a\.varc i\1varcz \.Va~ transferring -rrust funds into his personal accounts at 1"~131 or at other banks. 'fhc Ranks had the ""Kno\-v )lour C~usto1ncr" tor1ns and inforn1ation fron1 the ·rrust and each 'l'rust cntitv, as \VCll as for the unrelated entities controlled bv 1\lvarez. rrhe ~ ~ l3anks \Vere also a\varc such actions violated the tcrn1s of the. Trust. ()vcr 200 transfers totaline"--· over $5 1l1i111on \Vere n1adc froin ·rrust accounts to 1\lvarez's acc<..>unts. The Ilanks did nothing, despite their ohligations to use due diligence and anti-n1oney laundering controls \Vhich \Vould have flagged these transactions. Had the banks used the proper procedures~ they \VOuld have dctc<.:ted and stopped the transfers. i\lvarez also caused ·1·rust entities to take out unnecessary.. loans fro1n b~n~lil BC~T. ~fo date . despite I1(~~r . \vhich \vould plaintiff's presentation of the proper credentials as trustee . B(~,~r has not disclosed a ron1plete set of BBl~s bank records or t:ooperatcd in recovering the stolen Junds. Plaintiff as~erts the t())lo\ving clain1s: 1) 1\idini! and ;\betting Breach of Fiduciarv f)utv bv 1\lvarez'I and ....... . ......... .. .I ..J .· .")) (~ivil (~onspiracy to breach Alvarcz"s I"iduciary duties rccc i vc non-rnarkct pro·fits and kickbacks. a11d loot the rrrust . as \VCll as 1\. !\'lotion to f)is1niss I>efen<lants n1ove to disn1iss on jurisdictional grounds pursuant to C~f>I~R 3211 (a)(2) (lack of sul~jcct n1attcr jurisdiction pursuant to flanking L,a\V section 2()0-b) and C.~Pl.J( 3211 (a)(8) {lack of personal jurisdiction under C'PLl{ 302[a][I]) . as an inconvenient 1(Jrun1 (CI>LI{ 3271"al), and as harrcd by the Statute of I .in1itations ((~Pl ,R 3211laJI5])~ I. Subject !\fatter Jurisdiction [)clcndants argue this C{>Urt lacks su~jcct 1nattcr jurisdiction because J·3anking I ,a\v section 200-h provides an acti.on by a non-resident against a foreign bank 1nay only be tnaintained under certain . cnun1erated, c.ircun1stanccs: \Vhcrc a contract. at issue \Vas to be pcrforn1cd in this state~ \vhere the subject n1atter of the litigation is here~ where the cause 2 3 of 18 or action arose hci"c,. \vhcrc the INDEX NO. 155078/2017 [*[FILED: 3] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AM] RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 action is based on liability fiJr acts per.J(Jrn1ed in this state or the f{)reign bank docs business in this I-~anking state ( f\r1cn10 at 6- 7, citing l_;a\v section 200-b). None of these rcquircn1cnts arc satisfied here. No breach of contract is alleged. [)clcndants arc not alleged to do business here. The co1nplaint does not allege dei~ndants pcrf(>rn1cd any atlirn1ative act. in Nev~· '(ork (hl at 7). 2.. Personal Jurisdiction- Cl,l.J{ 302(a) (l J (~PI .I< J(r'(a)( I) stale provides jurisdiction over a non-dorniciliary \Vho transacts business in the i r the cause of a<.:1ion arises fJ·on1 those transactions. ·rhe only connection alleged bct\vccn Nc\v '{ ork and the events at issue is that son1e n1oney \Vas transferred to correspondent accounts in Ne\v '{ork 1• The occasional use of a Ne\v 'lork account alone .. docs not sho\v a "·Jack coincidence~~ (hi. or at 9 . quoting /Jicci \'Lebanese (.'an. Bttnk . 20 NY3d 327 . 340 [2012]). 'rhe only allegations that relate to Ne\:v York are that /\lvarcz n1adc three transfers of funds (out of over 200) to N·e\\·' York BC'' r accounts ( f'v1 cn10 at l 0). 'l'hcrc arc no allegations V ishnia had involvcn1cnt \,Vi th any of those transfers. "rhcrc arc n(> allegations BBi has any Ne-vv \·\.>rk correspondence accounts, only that 13131 uses 13C ·r accounts for transactions (hi. at 11 ). 1 While HC"I. has Nc\V '{ork correspondence accounts . plaintilTasserts 1\lvarez translerred funds to those accounts . or that BC"''f allo\vcd i\lvarcz to do so (id. at 12). l-l(~·r is not alleged to have taken any affinnativc action or selected the destination for those funds. ·rhere \Vere n1anv.. thefts \'.thich did no1· touch Ne\·V '{ ork . and the ex istcncc of the Nc\V 'l ork accounts docs not appear to be central to the al lcgcd conduct {it.I. at 14). Further . exercising jurisdiction violate due process. \VOtdd J>Iainti11s have not pled defendant's n1inin1un1 contacts vvith Nc\:v '{ork. 'rhcrc is no allegation any defendant purposefully picked or used the Nc\v '{ ork correspondent accouni.s lo alio"v i\lvarez to loot the ·rrust. 1\ll of the allegations involve defendants"' interactions vv'ilh i\b/arcz in (~osta l{ica (hl. at 16). Delendants could not have rcas<lnahly ft)rcsccn being haled into court in Nc.w York based on t.hese interactions. '~()nee it has been decided that a defendant purposefully' established n1inin1un1 contacts \vithin the f{-,ru1n State_ these contacts 1nay be considered in light of other factors lo detern1ine \\.t1cthcr the assc1tion of personal jurisdiction \vould con1port \Vith 'fair play and sul>stantial justice~'' (J.lurg:cr Kin,g ( 'or/J. v !?1.u.l~eH~icz- 471 LJS 462 . 476 f 1985] quoting /111/. iShoe (~'<). l" .S'ttJle of· Jf'ra.,·h .. !)fl. qf I ·· /\. correspondent account is an account ... established by a banking institution to receive deposits front~ rnakc payrnents on hchal f oC or handle other financial transactions for another financial institution. ('orrcspondcnt 1 accounts ar~ l.-"Stablishcd through bilateral agreerncnts bct\vccn the t\.vo banks" (\Vikipedia; available at hUps://cn. wik rpcd ia.org/\viki/C' orrespondent account). 3 4 of 18 INDEX NO. 155078/2017 [* 4] [FILED: NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10:15 AM] RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 l.lnen1r1loJ111enl ClonqJenst.ttion atul P!t1cemen1 .. 326 lJS 3 I 0, 320 119451). ·rhc Banks arc fbrcign 1 banks. \vi th no Nc\v York presence. \l ishnia i.s a C\>sta l{ican citizen living ._ in (~osta Rica. Forcing '- thcn1 to dctcnd a suit in Ne\\·· York \Vould constitute a substantiaJ burden. Nor docs Ne\·\· York ha\/C a significant interest in the dispute. Plaintiff is not a resident of Nc'v 'fork. Vcry f"cvv allegations arc rcb:ited lo Nev~: )' ork. C~osta .Rican Ja\V \·ViH likel.Y govern . and there is already a C'osta J\ ic:an litigation against .A Ivarez. 1'hc evidence and \vitncsses are in 3.. 1-~vcn 11"'orum Non ltica or Panan1a. (~onveniens if personal jurisdiction exists, Ne\V York lacks a substantial nexus \vi th this case and this court should disn1iss for/i1ru111 non conl'enie11s. "fh~ n1ct as there is an adequate alternative forun1 in (_'losta residents~ C~~osta burden rests on lhc defendants . but. it is l~ica. None of the parties are Ne\v 't' ork there is no subst.antial connection to Nevv York: none of the challenged trunsactions started or ended here: the rcJevant \Vitncsscs and docurncnts arc in C~osla Ilica and Panan1a: (~\)sta l{ican h:t,.v \Votlld apply: and litigating here \VouJd burden both the parties and the courts (J\.11en10 al ")'1 ). .'")( __ J- -~) 4. Tin1e' Barrc~d I)cfcndants also contend plaintiff~s clain1s arc ti1ne barred. First. N·c\v York docs not recognized a civil conspiracy clain1'! so this clain1 should be disn1issed (Frank v J)ain-,/er('h1:_l·sler ( .~otJJ .. 292 1\ D2d 1 18~ 128 [ 1s·t l)c.pt 2002] ["~the niotion court properly disrnissed the ... sevenlh cause of action f(Jr civil conspiracy since 110 independent cause of <.1.ction exists f(.)r such a clain1~'J), /\s to the fiduciary duty-related c:lain1~ a three-year statute the only rcrnedy sought is nlonctary dan1agcs (Kal{finltn v t}f lin1itations applies (.:~ohen . \Vhcre~ as here~ 307 Al)2d I I 3, 1 18 11 st Dept 2003] ). ,i\ 11 of the al legations in the current co1nplaint are outside the statute <)f 11n1Hations (fv.1cn10 at 25). ·rhe clai1n begins to run on the earliest date \vhen the breach causes an injury. 'l'he con1plaint alJeges /\lvarcz's thefts started in earnest at Bender'ls death in 20 I 0. ·rhat 'vould have start~d not the statute of lin1itations running (i<l ). be~in to run L [~ven if the statute of lin1itations \Vas tolled. or did until i-\lvarez \Vas rctnoved as trustee . that occurred on f)cce1nber 17 . 2012. 'rhat ' . Yvas the last date on vvhich he could ha\/C looted 'l"rust assets. 2017 . \)Ulsidc rhc statute of lin1itations. [1.. <>11position I. Personal Jurisdiction 4 5 of 18 . 'rhis action \.\,.,-as filed on June 2, INDEX NO. 155078 [* 5] [FILED: NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AM] RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 Plaintiff clain1s defendants are subject to Nc\V York .jurisdiction. ~ ( 'ie held thac ~--defendants' to launder their ~41 Ruslu1i<1 v l'ictel &· intentional and repeated use of Ne\v York correspondent bank accounts ~uston1crs' i llcgally obtained funds constitutes purposeful transaction of business substantially related to plaintiffs' clain1s . thus conferring personal jurisdiction \·Vi thin the n1eaning ofC l)Ll{ 302 (a) (lf" (28 N'{3d 316 . 319 f2016]. ret1rgt.le11ietlsuh 110111. 1 I~uslu1itl" J>iclel & (Tie . 28 N '{'3d 1161 [20171 ). \VhiJe defendants have argued the case represents a stretching of Ne\v 'i'ork jurisdictional lav~. ~ and that the 1l1cts of this case are being stretched lo lit that n1old~. BC:l· has correspondent ac<:ounts \Vith Ne\v York banks and defendants used these accounts and lnade the1n available to i\lvarez. l~vcn if l?ushaill is an extension of Nevv )1 ork la\v'I it is Nc\v '{ork ht\V~ and binding (()pp al 7). 13c··r . s activities in Nc"v '{ork arc sullic.ient to satis(y t.he ••transacting (.PLIZ 302(a)( l ). sc··r business~ . prong of 1naintai11ed at least two correspondent bank accounts in Nc\V \'ork and uses then1 to transfer n1illions of dollars annua11y, advertising possession of those accounts as a custorncr ben~tit. ·rhis is not passive or incidental. t.h~ forci~n - ~"Repeated, deliberate use that is approved by bank on behalf and for the bene1il of a custon1er ... den1onstrates volitional activity - t:onstituting transaction of business. In other words, the quantity and quality of a foreign bank*s contacts \Vith the <..:orrespondcnl bank 1nust den1(>nstratc inore than banking by happenstance~" (ill l?ushttilL )8 N'{3d at 327).. BCrr could have routed the rnonev.. fron1 the illicit transactions throuch .... an account in another stale . but chose its Nc"\.v y' ork accounts. ~f o open such an account a bank n1ust authorize an agent fc>r the acceptance of service (<Jpp at 9). l lcrc., as in .4 / /(ushaitl. the Banks n1ark.eted the Ne\\' '{ ork accounts on their \vcbsites. used the accounts to recei vc funds and send then1 abroad . knc\v the translers \-Vere illicit~ n1ade no inquiry about the funds being sent to Ne\v York~ and distributed the funds to f()reign payees to t~1ci1Jtale the schen1es (it../. at 9-10). 'rhcre also is an articulable nexus betvvecn the correspondent accounts and the clain1, satist~.'ing the second rcquiren1cnt of(·_~I.,R 302(a)( 1). ln Jl.usht:1id, the nexus \Vas that the tle1cndants acted as bankers., necessary to the laundertng of n1oncy by the non-party actors. ff ere~ the f1anks held the ·rrust n1oncy. and Alvarez could not have stolen the funds or tra11sferrcd then1 abroad \vithout dcf"cndants" hcJp 017 (()pp at 11 ). l~xcrcising jurisdiction over defendants is reasonable and consistent \Vi th due 11rocess (hf at I 2_)· . '"ffl\; f'ac t s Jn~--' . 11 J> I . I . ·1 \US 1a1c \Vere st1111 ar and f(Jund to cornporl \Vith due ·process (itl at 12). l\s in Al l?ushaid, "defendant:;' maintenance and repeated use of a New York corresponde11t bank 5 6 of 18 INDEX NO. 155078/2017 [* 6] !FILED: NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AM] RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 a~t:ount to achieve the \.Vrong con1plained of in this suit satisfies the n1inin1un1 contacts con1ponent ol'the due process inquiry"" CA/ /{ush1.1icl.., 28 N'{3d at 331 . [internal quotation 0111itled I). Nc'1v "fork has an interest In tht: outcorne of this litigation . since New '{ork has an interest in fraudulent use of its banking systc.1n. Nor could this case. be better pursued in (~osta Ilica. f!(~ . I' is po\vcrful there and has thv.nJrtcd allen1pts to investigate the frau<l. C~osta f{ica docs not have the robust discovery Ncvv York docs. (ii vcn \.vhat has happened to Patton . it is unlikely the plain ti ff could obtain satisl~1ction there. 2. S11l1ject Matter Jurisdiction Nc\v 'l-ork l3anking I ;'1\V 200-b provides that. an action n1ay he pursued by a non-resident againsL a foreign bank ·-\vhcrc the action ... is hascd on a liability· tor acts done \Vithin this state by a t(lrcign banking corporation [or} where the defendant i~ a foreign banking corporation doing business in this state .. ., (()JJP al 13 . quoting Banking La\v 200-h). l~oth of these possibilities huve been satisfied (ill at l 3-15 ). . / 3. •,orun1 Non (~onvcniens HNcvv )'' ork has an overriding and pararnount interest in the outct>tne of this litigation. It is a financial capital of the \vorld" serving as an international clearinghoust! und 1narkct place for a plethora of international transactions . such as to be so recognized by <>Ur decisional arul .\·ons. Lhl. v (JrhullaJ'S l1t1nk (lJ}5ant1a) /Jttl ~ 37 NY2d 220 . 227 1· 1975 ]). inconvenience to lhe parties to litigate here is shado\vcd hy ~"-New· la\v'~ (..1. 7.eevi ·rhc possible \,.ork's recognized interest in n1ain1aining and fostering its undisputed status as the pree111inent cornn1crcial and financial nerve center of the Nation and the ,.vorld. 'T'hat .interest nat:urally en1braces a very strong policy or assuring ready <.·tccess to a foru111 f(lr redress of i1~jurics arising out <>f transactions spa\vncd here~ . (E'hrlich-!Jober (~- (:~·o .. Inc. v {Jn iv. <!l.flou.\·ton~ 49 NY'"2d 5 74, 581 f 1980]). \\t'hcrcvcr it originated~ this schcn1c \Vas i1nplcn1cnted through the inisusc of Ne\v ·y' ork bank accounts (Opp at Bc111co :\l,tcionttl lJl1ra111arino. ;.\"'../l. v (. hct11 (.169 Misc 2d 182, 188 (Sup C t 1996.J~ 1 1 16~ citing q/fi.l suh nonr. !Ja11co t··iacion{tl l.fltri11nt1rino . .S'.l1. v A,fone~vcenter 1~r. ( ~o. /Jt,/., 240 i\ 1)2d 25 3 f 1st I)cpt 19971 f H'rhc itllegation that. iv1oney ('enter used its B<JN'l' account lo receive and transfer the stolen fu11ds~ thus converting the Statc~"'J). n1oncy~ satisfies the statutory requircn1cnt that the tort occur ~1 ithin Lhe 1''11c location of the transaction is Nc\v York . as IJC:r·s receipt of the funds into the Ne\v '{ork correspondent account is at the root or the clai111s (Opp at 17). As far as defendants argue that witnesses and docurncnts arc located outside of Nc\V \"ork., defendants do not provide the 6 7 of 18 INDEX NO. 155078/2017 [* 7] [FILED: NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AM] RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 required spcci fies~ suc.h as vvhich \vitncsscs (hi. at 18). ·Nor do defendants establish that f-lBL a Panan1anian bank. \.\:'OUld be sul~jcct to ,iurisdiction in c:osta l{ica. In fact~ \Vitnesses \\·'ill be available in Nc\v 'r" ork that \\··ill not he avai Iable in Costa llica. Patton is States and \Viii not appear in c~osta Rica., due to her rvt i hon 110\V Ii ving in the lJnited legal jeopardy there. .;\nother 111ain \\fitness .. Jin1encz. l\ lvarez · s f(Jn11cr accountant.. \:vi th actual kno\vledge of the fraud . is \vi II i ng to appear in Nc\v York 2 . ·rhc Hanks are large and po\vcrluL and \Vi II have no trouble appearing in Nc'v '{ ork ((>pp at 19 ). 1\s f~1r as dcf~ndanls argue that (~osta l{.ican la\:v vvill have to be applied, they n1akc no sho\ving that C.\>sta l{.ican la\V dirters substantially~ or that. the court \Vi11 have to engage in the choice of la\v analysts and apply (_,osta Rican lavv. If it clocs~ this \:Ourt has the experience. to apply foreign la\v (i(l. at 20). C~osta Ric.:a is not an adequate alternative. Patt{1fl \Viii not appear there . and the luck of discovery.. available'\ and the bctt~r flanks~ intlucncc" n1can that litigating in Nc\V York \.vi ll serve the ends of justice (hi. at 21 ). 4. Cluin1s arc ~rin1ely l3ot.h of pJaintiIT~ s clain1s arc t.imely under New York la\\/ because they arc governed by a six-year statute or lin1itations~ breach of fiduciary duty clain1 rrhe six-year period applies to a clain1 for aiding and abetting a \\>. here the breach is predicated on fraud~ regardless of the nature of the rcrncdy (itl at 22). 1\l,iarez's underlying actions in looting the ·rrust are based on fraud (it/.). Hccause the san1c fa<:t.s underlie the civil conspiracy clainl.. the saine li1nitations period applies (ill). 'rhe lack of alleged n1isrcprcsentations by deJendants is irrelevant. ·rhc fraud by 1\lvare'I. provides the basis (ill al 23 ). Further~ the lin1ita1ions period starts t.o run \Vhen 1\lvarcz vvas rcn1oved as trustee, vvhich \Vas in 2012. Accordingly., this action is tin1clv. L • · v . 1\ltcrnatively~ plaintiff requests leave to take it1risdic:lional discoverv . as \Vcll as on "' defendants~ argun1ent of forun1 non convcniens. c:. Rcpl'; I, Subject Matter Jurisdi~tion i\c<.:ording to flanking L~a\v section 200-b~ there is no subject n1attcr jurisdiction. Plaintiff argu~s that~ because there is personal jurisdiction under c·~f'LI{ 302(a)( l), there is subiccl 111aUer jurisdiction under f-~anking 1.,a\v. ·rhe case relied upon by plaintii1. f(>tu1d subject n1atterjurisdiction under l3C~L section 1314-b'I be(;ausc there \Vas personal jurisdiction under (:PLR 302(a)( 1). 2 · Plaintiff docs not state Jhncncz b unavailahle to appear in C'osta Rica. 7 8 of 18 INDEX NO. 155078/2017 [* 8] [FILED: NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10:15 AM] RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 PlaintitT argues that, because the language in flanking ·La\-V 2()():._b and lJC~t, 1314-b arc sin1ilar~ the sarne analysis should apply (l{eply at 2). l··lowever . there arc. in1portant distinctions in the language or the statutes. El(' I., I 3 I 4-b(4) states a court \.Viii have subject Jllatter jurisdiction \Vhercvcr the non-dtH11iciliary \vould be subject to personal jurisdiction. "f'hcrc is no such provision in. l3anking La\v. Banking I ,a\.v 200-b(2)(d) is sirnilar to (:PLR 302(a)(2)" \vhich grants personal jurisdiction ov~r a defendant \vhn CfH11111illt:d a tort \:Vithin the state (lleply at 3). Plainti1There does not al1cgc defendants \\-'ere present. in Ne\V York Of that their conduct occurred here. Nor arc the Banks foreign ba11king corporations doing business in this state, such that there pursuant t(> \i\iOtlld be jurisdiction l3anking J.,a\v section 200-b(2 )( e) (icl. ). 2. Personal .Juristliction Plaintiff did not. respond to defendants" argun1ents that there are no allegations \ 1ishnia or 13131 \-Vere involved \vith transfers through correspondent accounts in 'Ne\-v York (id B(~l''s al 4). correspondent accounts" or that BBi had ;\ccordingly~ the niotion to disrniss .f()I' lack of personal jurisdiction should be granted as to those l\Vo defendants. l\s lo HC~ . r . that entity did not purposefully transact 302(a)( l} inapplicable. l"::vcn after /ll Rushaid, the rnere at:~ounts v /f,\'/J(..' business in Nc\V York . n1aking C. PLf{. tact that a .foreign bank has correspondent in Ne\v York . alone. is insufficient to provide jurisdiction Jlolllin~s:.\'. f'l('. 700 Fed Appx 66~ 1 (I~cply at 5 . citing f/(Jlf Jlin i(J 67 f2d Cir 20 I 7.11".;Nor does the n1crc n1aintenancc of correspondent hank accounts at an affiliate hank in Ne\V 'l' ork"'"' give rise to personal jurisdiction I). In .111 J<ushltitl'!. the correspondent accounts \Nerc. considered in relation to the alleged schen1c. that the n1oven1cnt of n1oncy to Ne'v '{ork \Vas parl. of the plan" I··lcrc, no such plan is alleged (f{cp[y ut 5-6 ). C>vcr 99<yo of' /\lvarez ·s transfers lo third parties . and about not go through ·Nc\v 92€!1(~ of transfers abroad . did York (id at 6). F'or the transJers through the Nc"v York correspondent accounts. detendants did not have lo take affirn1ativc actions. Vll1en a custon1er initiates a transfer in lJnited States doJlars~ the rest of the process is auton1atic (ill:- citing rvtorsink aft: ~tif 13- l 4 ). Nor arc the Ne\V \ . .ork correspondent accounts sufficiently related to the clai111s to create jurisdiction over 11(~.· J.' (ill at 6 ). ~1ost of the alleged stolen funds rc111ained in (\)sta l{.ica f>r \Vere transJerrcd through states other than Nc"v York . and unlike l11 l?u.shaitl, there \.Vas no allegation or indication that the n1oncy laundering could 1101 have been con1pleted \Vithout the Nc\v York correspondent accounts ( i<l ). 8 9 of 18 INDEX NO. 155078/2017 [* 9] !FILED: NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AM] RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 E.xcrcising personal jurisdiction here \Vould violate due process (ill. at 7). \\1hilc plaintiil' relies on the analysis in .A/ Rusl1aitl., pluintitl' ignores the distinctions bet\veen this ti1ct pattern and that ont:. lJnlikc . ·'1/ Ruslu1id. the connection bet\vcen the conduct and the Ne\v York acc<Junt \Vas attenuated. 1\lso unlike "'11 Rushah.I. all of the parties (save one defendant) arc fron1 the san1e country~ \~1 hcre all of the conduct took place,, giving C~osta l~ica a significant interest in deciding this case (i<./. J. ·r·hcre is already a (.,osta Rican civil action by Patton~ seeking to recover $200 n1iJlion fro1n i\lvarcz and other entities involved in his \Vrongdoing. 'I'hat con1plainl includes allegations about BC''l' and 3. llf~I, and \lishnia is a potential witness (it.I.). ~.,oru111 Non (~onvcnicns \Vay~ Plaintiffsccrns to contend that ifNe\v York's banking systcn1 is involved in any no foreign bank could n1cct the burden of out,vcighing Ne\v \{ ork ~s interest in adjudicating the dispute (f{eply at 8). ·rhat 1s not the la\V. lJnlikc /J,:tnco lt./(1cio1u1! li/1r<.111u:1riJ10~ . ~T 4. ( 169 f\,1isc 2d at 182) . •• these defendants did not con1111it an aJ]irn1ativc acr in Ne\.\ York or direct tortious activities hert::. 1 Furtl1cr. in that case. the court held Ne\v York to be a proper forun1 because it becan1e lhc hub of Je1endant · s activities. That is not alleged here (Reply at J 0). DeJendants are alleged to have aided i1nd abetted or conspired to assist tortious acts in (_,osta Ri<:a. ·l'hcrc is no uftirn1ative a{:t al lcgcd lo have occurred in Nc\v \Tork. Further~ aJn1ost all of the relevant \vitnesscs and do<:un1ents are in 1\lvarez and his accountants. /\lvarcz is unlikely to appear in NC\\! } individuals and docun1cnts have not been nan1ed, a defendant.. 1 C~osta J(ica. includinL?..... ork. \\"hilc all of the spc<:itic prc-ans\ver~ is not required to idcnti(v the specifics (lleply at 14 ). /\s lo plaintiff. . s argun1ents that the I3anks arc large 'u1d p<)WCrfuL and ahlc to cover the expenses of litigating in Nc\V York f()r thcn1selves and Vish11ia . \Vhcthcr the l3anks arc paying for \.'ishnia is irrelevant (i,l) Nor are the Banks sufficiently Jarge and powerful that they \vould n1ake proceedings in (\)sta Rica unt~1ir 3 . ' De .'.end a'.Hs cla i 1~1 ~hat t a grcc men ts with BCT and. 8 BI setting up the tlllst ··rn cm oria Iizc d f1he i rJ expectations·· th<ll rssu~:s \\'tlh 4-:.uslonh:rs • \Vc..n1ld be handled do1nest1caJlv~· (Re· pl)1 ·~1· I'.) Jlo\v··\·,,. • itl ti · M • . • . . •. • • · . -. _1 . o . -·'. . · t: ..... 1, • le t crno \.v Iicrc· l t1at <~~~g.t.~rn~nt__1s H~ll~~~fl~ r_nadc: IL cxpl~1u1s that the ~c·r t:ontracls and RR I contract only spt:ci t'.Y that c·osta I{ ican and r ~nLunan1cu1 ft1\·vs" respt"ct1vt~f.Y. \VIII apply. J)~fendants do not clailn those agreetncnts specif\.- a f(Jnun ( \1~1··1q '.tt ")') '.1: n_) ). . 9 10 of 18 ' - . .\.'. I ' "' --~ ------------· [*[FILED: 10] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AM] ··---· --··- INDEX NO. 155078/2017 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 4. Statute of l..Jin1itations Plaintifl"' argues that~ \vhi le a threc..-ycar statute of lin11tations \vould nrrn11ally apply . since the underlying fiduciary duty cluin1s are based on fraud, a six-year statute of J.in1itations applies (ill at 17) ..Ho\vcver the cases cited do not support this exception (Reply at 18~ citing J). f>enguin llros. }Jill v i\1all. JJ/ack llnileti //und. Inc ... 137 AD3d 460. 461 [lst J)cpt 2016_11.~iorfhc six-year Ii1nitations period apJ.Jlics to the aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty claims, since those clajrns are based on allegations of actual 1i·aud~·r: and Ka1~/II1un 11 ('<>hen, 307 i\l)2d 113. 126-27 [ I st I)ept 2003 I). f urthcr~ the con1plaint fi1i Is to n1ake out a clain1 of fraud against 1\J varez, 'vvhich is required to prevent aJleging fraud n1crcJy to lake advantage of the longer statute of lin1itations (l{cply at l)L citing Ktt1tflnt111, 307 1\l)Jd at 119 l~'"courts \viii not apply the fraud Statute of Lin1itations if the ti·aud alle~ation is onl·r incidental to the clain1 asserted: othcr\vise. fi«.lud \vould ... , "' be used as a n1eans to Ii ligate stalt: clain1s·" I [internal quotation on1itted]). 'fhe Second ,L\111ended c:orn1)laint here alleges .t-\lvurcz . s looting of the ~rrust. It does not allege any n1isrcpresentations to support a fraud l.:lain1 . .As fr1r as plainti rr requests discovery addressed to jurisdiction and l(>run1 non convcnicns~ the court need not reach these questions~ as it lacks su~iect n1attcr jurisdiction. Further., plaintilT has already received the affidavit of f~(~ ..r~s C~orporate Services M·anagcr, \Vho oversees its correspondent banking'I and n1any docun1ents 1i·on1 UL~I~ Bc~·r, and the correspondent banks (f~cply . !(. . dl ")). Plaintiff has also retained an ex1Jcrt in correspondent ba11king. infi)rtllation to use to n1akc any argun1cnts uvai lable. Plaintiff has a111ple i\s to discovery regarding fortn11 non convcniens. plaintiff only includes this as a vague aflcrthought. a hope that a fishing cxpedi tion n1ight prove fruitful (ill.). Ill. l>ISf~lJSSl<>N 1\. (~ivil <~ons11iracy Claim [)efcndanls arc incorrect that a civil conspiracy clain1 does not exist under NC\A/ )l ork la\v. "'[Ujndcr New York law, to establish a claim of civil conspiracy, the plaintiff must demonstrate the primary tort. plus the following friur clements: (1) an agreement between two or 1nore parties; ("'> :m overt act in furthi.:rancc of the agreement; (3) the parties' intentional pai1icipation in the fi.1rthcrance of a plan or purpose; and (4) resulting damage or injury" (Abucus Fed S'av. /Jank v Lim, 75 AD3d 472, 474 [1st Dept 20l0j). However, "New York docs not reco1.mize an .... 10 11 of 18 INDEX NO. 155078/2017 [*[FILED: 11] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AM] RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 i11lle1Je11de11t cause of action fc.H· conspiracy to comn1it a civiJ torr~ (. -lblJcus 1 f~e£l 5y£tv. Bank v or action sounding 75 /\l)Jd 4 72, 4 74 [I st l)cpt 20 l O][crnphasis ~. dded]). -"If-\ f cause conspiracy cannot stand alone,, but stands or falls \Vith the underlying tore-- (Ronu1t10 v Li1n~ in \;ivil J~onun10~ 2 1\[)3d 430 . 432 r2d J)cpt 2003]). Plaintiff bases the clain1 on a conspiracy to \,~breach tiduciary duties and to loot the '"frusC" (Second An1ended C~on1plaint at 25 ). Plainti.tr has pied facts \-vhich vvould support a clain1 against 1.\lvarcl. f(-,r breach of fi(fuciary duty:' 1\ccordingly. this clai1n r stands . i the case survives the other challenges. '-' II. Personal ~Jurisdiction (~PLJ{ 302(a) sets forth four ditlcrcnt scenarios in which the Ne'v '{ ork courts can exercise specific or long arn1 jurisdiction over non-don1iciliary defendants (see (_'PIJ{ 302(a)( I )-(a)(4)): '"'"a court n1ay exercise personal jurisdiction over any non-don1ici liary, or his executor or adn1inistrator~ \Vho in person or through an agent: I. transacts any business \:vithin the state or contracts any\vherc to supply goods or services in the slate: or 2. conunits a tortious act \-vithin the state, except as to a cause of action fiJr dcl~u11ation of character arising fron1 the act; or 3. co1nn1its a tortious act \Vithout the state causing injury to person or r,ropcrty \VJ thin the state, cx<.:cpt as to a cause of action f()r dei~1n1ation of character arising frorn the act.. if he (i) regularly docs or solicits business, or engages in any other rcrsistent' course of conduct.. or derives substantial revenue fron1 goods used or consun1cd or services rendered., in the state . or (ii) expects or should reasonably expe~t the a<..:l to have consequences in the state and derives substantial revenue fron1 interstate or international co1nrncrce: or 4. o\vns, uses or possesses any real property situated \.vithin the state'· (ill). ·--r~r]he part~/ seeking to assert personal jurisdiction, the plainliffT . ] bears the ullin1ate burden of proof on this issue~" ( Aiarisl c·~o!I. v JJra«.v~ 84 1\1)3d 1322, t 322-1323 [2d Dept 2011 J). Plain ti ff clain1s this court has i.,crsonal jurisdiction over the dctcndants based on section (a)( 1).. that they transacted business in the state. based on the use of BC T' s corrcs1)ondent accounts 1 in Nc\V York (()pp at 8). Pia inti rr relies on Al Ru.\·luti<.l. A I Rushaid \Vas a Saudi resident.. (JJ1d O\Vner of C0-"plainti11' enli t y i\ I R ushaid Pctroleun1 Invcstn1ent (_~orporntion~ a Saudi 1\rabian con1pany. ·rhc l1 I J~ushoh1 pJainti1fs sued a private bank, the n1anager for "~concealing il1-gf>ttcn bank~s general partners . and the hank's client relationship 1noncy fron1 a schcnlC orchestrated by three of plaintiffs~ 1 In order to establish a hi-each of fiduciary duty. a plaintiff1nust plead and prove the exislent:c of a fiducial)' relationship. rnisconduct hy the del'cndanL and dantagcs dfrectly caused by the dcfcndant"s rnisconduct (Pokoik v· t'okuik. 1 t 5 .\L)3d 428 l ! s1 [)epl 20 l 4 J). 1 11 12 of 18 "."""'"15---:50---:78:-;-:/2:-:::-:-0l 7 ~------==-=---=-===-==--==-==::-:--;::;:;-;::;;;::;-:;:;---:;-:;-~~TF~=:=:r=E~~----------------··------··---·-···········--·---------I-ND-EX-N-0-. [*[FILED: 12] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AM] NYSCEF DOC. NO. RECEIVED NYSCEF: 61 crnployees"" (?8 NY3d at 320). ~f'hc basis f()r jurisdiction \Vas the use of correspondent accounts~ as \V<: l l as other a<:counts in Nc\v York at various banks., for ~ . n u1ncrous transfers ... \Vhich ... totaled over $4 n1illion~~ (it/. at 321-22). 'fhe c:ourt of l\ppcals detern1incd that the . 4/ l?usht'tit.l delcndants ~ use of the correspondent bank accounts ,,,..as purposcfuL and that the clain1s against the defendants arose fron1 those transactions~ noting that ""the t]uantity and quality of contacts establish a ""course of dealing""' \Vith Ne\v York, and the transaction and clain1 arc not ""n1ercly coincidcntar~ C4/ l?ushailL 'J8 N"\'3d at 323). ·rhe C~ou11of1\ppcals has clsc\vhere noted that ~ . a correspondent bank relationship . \Vithout any other indicia or evidence to explain its ess\:ncc . rnay not f(>rn1 the basis for long-arrn jurisdiction under c:~pl_J{ 302 (subd [aJ, par I)"" (f1111(~0 i"'tJollY ('orJJ. v .i\lar. · ilfitllanll /Jank-1Velr }'ork" 39 NY2d 391 ( 19761~ cited in A.-11 J?usha;l/~ 28 N '(3d al 324 ). In .-ln-1igo f(1otls ('or11 . ., delendant /\roostook ~frust C,ornpany~ a iV1aine [iank,, \Vhose Nc\v \' ork correspondent account received certain funds at issue . . \Vas deen1ed not to be sub.jcct lo jurisdi<:tion hccausc it had ·~not purposely availed itself of the privilege of conducting activities in Ne\v York thereby invoking the benefits and protections of its h1\~/S. ()n the contrary. it has passively and unilaterally been n1ade the recipient of funds \Vhich at its custon1cr's direction it has declined."~ c.-1111(~0 /t(Jotls ('OljJ. ') 61 Al)2d at 896). In /·1/ l?ushl1ill~ the C\>urt of l\ppcals clarified t.hal a bank cannot escape jurisdiction by arguing that it \vas 1nercly follo\\ring client instructions (l11 Rushaicl, 29 N't'3d at 328). ·rhc bank's participation in n1oving the funds through N·cw 'l ork is suflicicnt (itl. ). "l'he question is \.vhcfher t.he Nc\v '{ ork account \Vas ··integral to the schcn1c'" (hi.). "'The focus of the Jurisdictional analysis Is the l(Jrcign bank's conduct vis-£1-vis the cotTCspondcnt bank.. 1neaning ho\v it uses the corn~spondcnt accounts not \vhethcr son1e other bank could have been used instead~ . (ill). ·J·hat court f()und the use of the c<>rrcsponJcnt accounts to n1ovc funds sufticient to constitute the tn.tnsaction of business in Ne"v 'l ork pursuant to C:PLll 302(a)( l ). !-lcrc . the alleged contacts" use of th~ <.:.orrcspondent accounts to 1novc the funds at issue . are sirnilar to those in . 4l l?uslu:til/. and constitut~ transacting husiness in Nc\\l York. To establish jurisdi<:t.ion pursuant to <~~PIJ{ 302(u)( I), the business transacted 1nust also have an ..articulable nexus or substantial relationship between the business transaciion and the daim assc11cd"" (id. at 329, internal quotations omitted). The inquiry merely requires "a relatedness between the transaction and the legal claim such that the latter is not completely unmoored from the former. regardless of the ultimate merits of the claim" (Ucci v Lebanese ('an. Bank. 20 NY3d 12 13 of 18 11/30/2018 [*[FILED: 13] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AM] INDEX NO. 155078/2017 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 327" 339 (2012J). In /1/ J~u.,·hait.I.. the (~ourt or /\ppcals held that there \Vas such a substuntial relationship b~causc ""the n1oncy launderi11g could not proceed without the use of the corTCSJJondent bank account. . . . ·1 ·hc n1oney laundering schc1nc ... relied precisely on the existence of hank accounts in di llerent jurisdictions . through \vhich the 111oncy \vould pass Iand the] clairn of aiding and abt:tting breaches of fiduciary duties and conspiracy turn entirely on the n1oney laundering .. .. necessarily including the use of the Nc\v York bank account"" (l?ushaitl. 29 N '{3d at 330). l-I~rc. the Ne\·V York correspondent account \Vas used only n1ini1naHy, apparently coincidentally~ related to the clain1s at issue. l'hc Second i-\rncndt:d (_~on11Jlaint vaguely stales that "·a substantial nun1bcr of illicit transfers"" \Vere routed through Nevv York account.s (Second ,·\n1endcd c~on1plaint at 23 ). Plaintiff further argues that J\lvarc7. could not have transferred the funds \Vithout the 13anks'" assistance and he . ~could not have transferred the Trust 1nonics to his chosen payees abroad unless the dctendants 1nade available to hi1n the use of the correspondent accounts in Nc\v ~Y-ork ~~(_()pp at 11 ). i\ccording to plainti11: the Banks ~'specifically chose to route illicit transactions through Nc\v York~ \Vhilc d~fcndant \lishnia was the bank officer responsible l<.n· effecting eac.h transfer upon receipt of instructions frorn i\lvarcz'' (hi.). l)cfcndants argue that a relatively sn1all percentage of the funds allegedly 1noved through the Ncvv '{ ork correspondent accounts, and there is no allegation that the n1ove1ncnt through those accounts \Vas key to the alleged looting of the 'frust and that 1nost of the ·rrust fi1nds \.vcrc n1oved lo other accounts~ even through correspondent accounts in other jurisdictions. Plainti tl.. s allegations ahout the use and in1portancc of the <.:orrcspondent accounts arc Plaintiff has not rnct its burden to sho\v that the transfers to the vague and conclusory. correspondent accounts in Ne\v 'l ork \Vere sufficiently connected to the clain1s at issue (that the thclt of funds relied on the use of the Ne\-v '{ ork correspondent accounts~ or could not ha\/e succeeded \Vithout those accounts) to provide a basis for personal jurisdicti.on over the defendants in Ne\v )" ork. 1\s the relevant inf(>rn1ation about ho\v those accounts \Vere used is \Vithin the Banks' possc~sion., so111e jurisdictional discovery rnay be appropriate . if this t:asc survives the ren1aj ning challenges. If the contac1s suffice to confer jurisdiction pursuant to New York's long-arm statute (CPLR 302 ), the court must then ''determine whether the exercise of jurisdiction compo11s with due process" (l.uMarca l' Pak-Mor lvff'g Co., 95 NY2d 2 IO, 214 120001). The <ldCndants must have had minimum contacts with New York such that they ''should reasonably anticipate being 13 14 of 18 INDEX NO. 155078/2017 [* 14] [FILED: NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AM] RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 haled into court there"~ ( JJ1orl£f-Jf"hle V'<1lkslvagen non-don1iciliarv tortfl."asor has '"·n1inirnun1 J (·01].J. contacts'~ v lfl.<Jot.l~·o11, 444 lJS 286" 287 [I 980_1). ·,;~I\ \-Vith the f{Jru1n State ··and n1av thus ~ rcasonahJy f()resec the prospect of det~nding a suit thcre···-··-if it purposefully avails itself privilege of conducting activities vvithin the 1oru1n State~ . (1Jalt4arc<-t v Pltk-A/for A·fl~- or the C'o .., 95 N\'2d 210 . ; 16 j_JOOO.J [internal quotation on1ittcd f). "".l'hc pr<lspect of deJending a suit in the forun1 State n1ust also con1port "":ith traditional notions of -fair play and substantial justice"·~ (itl.. at 2 J 7). In .~ll l?ushahl. the court l(>und the due process had been satisfied because '""the defendants~ n1aintcnance and repeated use of a Ne\\." York correspondent bank account to a<:hicvc the \vrong con1plaincd of his this suit satisfies the n1inin1un1 contacts con1ponent of the due proccss-in(1uiry~ . (.28 N '{Jd at ]J l [internal quotation on1ittedl.). I lcre is not clearly alleged that the dclcndants used the Ne\v York correspondent accounts lo achieve the \vrong alleged: or \vhethcr the use of the correspondent accounts \Vas incidental and/or coincidental. (~. Sub.icct !\<tatter .Juristliction Banking Lav\>r section 200-g provides that: as othcrvvise provided in this chapter~ an action or special proceeding against a t()rcign banking corporation n1ay be rnaintaincd by another f(.>rcign corporation or foreign banking co11Joration or by a non-resident in the follo\.ving cases onlv: _, (a) \vhere the action is brought to recover dan1agcs ft>r the hreach of a contract n1ade or to he pert11nned \Vithin this state . or relating to properly situated \,\··ithin this state at the tin1e of the t1u1king of the contract: (b) \Vhcre the subject n1attcr of the litigat_ion is situated \vilhin th is state: ( c) \Vherc the cause of action arose 'vvithin this state, except \Vhere the object. of the action or speciaJ proceed.ing is lo atlect the title of real property situated outside this state: (d) \vhcrc the action or special proceeding is based tJn a liability for acts done vvithin this state by a foreign banking corporation; (c) vvhcrc the defendant is a f{1reign banking corporation doing busjness in this state.~· h·'}. l~xcept J>lainti 11· clai1ns subsections (d) and (c) apply here.. because there is personal jurisdiction under (~'PLR 302(a)( 1). \Vhich provides that ~ . a court n1ay exercise personal jurisdiction over any non- don1iciliary~ or his executor or adn1inistrator" \Vho in person or through an agent ... transacts any business \vithin the state or contracts any\vhcre to supply goods or services in the state~" (()pp at J 3. C~PLJ{ 302[aJI 1 J). Plain1i1T ackno\vlcdges that ~;.both provisions require that the action arise frnn1 or be based on the acts or business done by the 1ion-don1iciliary \Vithin the Stale of Ne\v 14 15 of 18 r.:;-:;:-:;~~=--===-==--==-:=====---:==--==-==--=-=--r=-:----r=-=~~~---==~ [*[FILED: 15] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AM] ____, ---·--· ,__ ,,, ,,___,, ··--·-· INDEX NO. 155078/2017 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 'York~.. (()pp at l 3). jurisdiction argurncnt /\ccordingl y.. this argun1cnt l~ti Is for the san1e reason as the personal abov~. D. i''"'orurn Non c:.~onvcniens ()n a n1otion to disn1iss on the ground of./()ru111 non conveniens~ the detendanl challenging the f()run1 bears the burden of de111onstrating relevant private or public interest ti1ctors \vhich n1ilitat.c against acccpti1ig the litigation (st'e lYlc1111ic Re1Jublic r?f-fr,111 v Pahlavi~ 62 N'\"2d 474~ 479 11984]~ cerl tlenietl 469 lJS 1108 I 1985]~ ~5fr{1ville v fl1n<l (.targo, Inc ... 39 Al)3d 735~. 736 [ 2d l)ept 2007]). '"rhc doc.lrin~ rests upon principles of justice . l~1irness, and <:onvcniencc (see Jsla1nic ' J<e;Juhlic (~l.1ran, 62 N'{2d al 4 79). 1\n1ong the thctors to be <;Onsidcrcd arc ... the residency or the parties . thl: potential hardship to proposed 'vvitn~sscs~ the availability of an alternative forun1, the situs of the underlying action . and the burden \Vhich \vill be irnposed upon ·Nc\v \' ork courts, 'vi th no one fi-tctor control1ing"" (.\~traville . 39 1\[J3d at 736~ (internal quotation n1arks 01nittcd]). I lcrc . the burden to the Ne\V '{ ork courts is niinin1al, the addition of one case. rrhc parties save one are all in C\>sta I<.ica or Panan1a. and the burden lo thcn1 is· likely to be substantial. ·rhe only contact the dcft:.ndants are alleged to have \vith Nc\:v York is the correspondent accounts., and. \Vhi le plainti t1' argues that they arc the equivalent. of a local branch-: prcsun1abty that is for their custon1ers. ·rhc correspondent banks do not appear to provide any practical SllJ)port for litigation. Virtually all of the \Vitnesses and docun1cnts are likely t(> be in (_'osta Rica'\ or possib1y Panan1a~ \vith the exception of Patton \vho, according to her 'vvebsite~ annpatt.on.nct.. is based in Tulsa and ()rlando. \\/hilc plaintitl"' argues that defendants" failure to identity the specific fi.lreign \Viti1csses is t~ttal· to th1s argun1ent plaintiff relies on a case \Vhich n1ereJy states that the St1pren1e (~ourt properly usi.:d its discretion to deny a n1otion based 011jhru111 non conveniens '"•on the ground that, in part~ defendants had t~tiled lo identify those \Vitnc.sscs \Vho \Vould be inconvenienced by a Ne\v 'fork trial'" (1'.'ire~reen Lill. v C'la.xlon~ 160 ,L\D2d 409" 412 [1st Dept 1990]). It docs not in1ply such a conclusion vvould be required here. ·rhe other case cited by plaintiff, ()'(:.·onnor v /1ont111za Intern .. Inc. (129 Al)2d 569 . 570 f'2d Dept 1987]) is sin1ilarly 11avvcd, as it noted several "vitncsscs and relevant events having occurred in Ne\V )'ork, conc·luding that there was going lo be inconvenience either \vay, and it \Vas not. clear \Vhose inconvenience. \vould be out,Ncighed by having t.he case heard in either relevant location. Furiher . the (~osta Rican fclrun1 appears ahle lo hear this case. While plaintiff argues the cou11s there will not }Jtovidc a fair hearing~ that \Vas the fC..1ru1n chosen bv... the creators of the 'l'rusl 15 16 of 18 [* [FILED: 16] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10:15 AM] INDEX NO. 155078/2017 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 reason~. and to have bcnelitted fron1 their choice then, only to no\v claiin it deficient and incapable, seen-is unt~1ir. \\/hen thev.. made the 'frust in (~osta Rica. J>rcsun1ablv.., ... thcv chose that venue f(.n· a """' . l. 't1rthcr. the transactions in the Ne'v '{ ork accounts are ru.)t at the hea11 of this case. plaintiff appears to be {)l1 t<.>rtn11 shor>ping~ ·atten1pting lo In short bring this case in the prcterred fi.nTtn1 based a thread. 1\ccordingly . considt~ring the principles ofjustice~ fitirness . and convenience . it appears the <:ase should he heard in C.\»sta l{ica. f:. Statul(• of l . . in1itations Plaintirf's clain1 lo a six-year statute of lit11itations hinges on its argun1cnt that the clain1s arc grounded in /\lvare1.~s fraud. l-fo\vevcr~ 1.•1 s)ince these defendants are not a1lcged to have 1nade any representation. and further o\ved no fiduciary duty to plaintiftl]" the aiding and abetting clain1 against lhe111 sounds in constructive fi·aud, not actual fraud and the three-year statute of li1nitat.ions applies'.'~ (KLn{fintn·1~ .307 1\1)2d at 12.6-27). 'I'hc six-year statute of lin1itations inight apply \Vhere the clai1n for breach of fiduciary duty alleges fi·aud H1at is essential to tl1e cause of action pleaded and \\:·hen there \vould be no datnagcs but for the fraud (see J>l1t1lucci v. 1519-20 f 3d l)ept 20 IO]). l~his 1i-ft.1uro~ 74 ;\[>3d 1517 ~ claim is" at its heart') about. the looting . and not about fraud. ·rhe con1plaint does not allt:gc fraud hy Alvarez \vit.h the particularity requirt'd by (_'PL.I( 3016. ,t\ccordingly . the claiins arc untin·1cly. C<JNC~lJlJSIC)NS· 'l'his court lacks sul~jcct n1attcr jurisdiction. No discovery in aid of jurisdiction is \varrantcd here because the case should also be disrnisscd on the ground of,fi>rzun non convenien.\'. l :vcn if the court w·ere to rctai n the case, it. slatutl~ \VOUJd have lo be dismissed because the ap.plicabJc of hn11tations has expired. Because plaintiff has abandoned the clai1ns against IJ131 and Vishnia . the cornplaint shall he disn1issed as against thc1n f{>r .this reason as \VCIL /\ccordingly, it is hereby ()l~l)fi21lF:D that the n1otion of defendants llanco l3(~'f S.i\ ... Banco BC·1· lnt.ernacionaL and Ariel Vishnia Baruch'.' to disrniss the con1plaint or plaintitl: Victor Garcia.~ ']'rust.cc of the Vida l~cologica ·rrust. is ('JI{i\N'l1:l) in its entirety: and it is further 16 17 of 18 [*!FILED: 17] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 11/30/2018 10: 15 AMI INDEX NO. 155078/2017 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 61 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 11/30/2018 ORDF~1~1~:1> that the con1plaint is l)IS-tv1ISSl~IJ and the c:Ierk of the. Court is directed tu enter judgrncnt in tftvor of said defendants' and against said plaintiff tugcthcr \Vit.h costs and disburscn1ents in an a111ount to be fixed by the C~lerk upon presentation of a proper hill of costs . .f l1is C<H1Stitutes the decision and Ord.er of the COUft.. Novcniber 28, 2018 17 18 of 18