2018 California Code
Corporations Code - CORP
TITLE 1 - CORPORATIONS
DIVISION 1 - GENERAL CORPORATION LAW
CHAPTER 22.5 - Victims of Corporate Fraud Compensation Fund
(a) When an aggrieved person obtains a final judgment in a court of competent jurisdiction against a corporation based upon the corporation’s fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit, made with intent to defraud, or obtains a criminal restitution order against an agent based upon the agent's fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit, made with intent to defraud while acting in the agent’s capacity as the corporation’s officer or director, the aggrieved person may, upon the judgment becoming final and after diligent collection efforts are made, file an application with the Secretary of State for payment from the fund, within the limitations specified in Section 2289, for the amount unpaid on the judgment that represents the awarded actual and direct loss, any awarded compensatory damages, and awarded costs to the claimant in the final judgment, excluding punitive damages.
(b) The application shall be delivered in person or by certified mail to the Secretary of State not later than 18 months after the judgment has become final.
(c) The application shall be made on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State and shall include each of the following:
(1) The name and address of the claimant.
(2) If the claimant is represented by an attorney for the application, the name, business address, and telephone number of the attorney. If the claimant is not represented by an attorney for the application, a telephone number where the claimant can be reached during regular business hours shall be included.
(3) The name and address of the corporation and the agent, if any.
(4) The identification of the final judgment, the amount of the claim that remains unreimbursed from any source, and an explanation of the claim’s computation.
(5) A copy of a final judgment and a copy of the civil complaint and any amendments thereto upon which the judgment finding fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit, made with the intent to defraud, was made shall be deemed to satisfy compliance with the requirements prescribed in this paragraph. The claimant may also provide any additional documentation that he or she believes may help the Secretary of State in evaluating the application, including, but not limited to, evidence submitted to the court in the underlying judgment or a detailed narrative statement of facts in explanation of the allegations of the complaint upon which the underlying judgment is based.
(6) If the final judgment is a criminal restitution order, the claimant shall provide the charging document and the restitution order, and if the defendant is an agent, documentation showing the defendant named in the restitution order is an agent as defined in this chapter.
(7) A description of searches and inquiries conducted by or on behalf of the claimant with respect to the judgment debtor’s assets liable to be sold or applied to satisfaction of the judgment. A court’s determination or finding of the judgment debtor’s insolvency or lack of assets to pay the claimant shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements prescribed in this paragraph.
(8) Each of the following representations by the claimant:
(A) That the claimant is not a spouse, registered domestic partner, or an immediate family member of an employee, officer, director, managing agent, or other principal of the corporation nor a personal representative of the spouse, registered domestic partner, or an immediate family member of an employee, officer, director, managing agent, or other principal of the corporation.
(B) That the claimant has complied with all of the requirements of this section.
(C) That the judgment underlying the claim meets the requirements of subdivisions (a) and (b), including all of the following:
(i) That the judgment was for fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit by the corporation or the agent of the corporation, with the intent to defraud.
(ii) That the judgment is unpaid in part or in whole.
(iii) That the underlying judgment and debt have not been discharged in bankruptcy, or the underlying judgment is statutorily nondischargeable, or, in the case of a bankruptcy proceeding that is open at or after the time of the filing of the application, that the judgment and debt have been declared to be nondischargeable by the judge or stipulated as nondischargeable by the parties in the proceeding and that the claimant has been granted permission by the bankruptcy court to proceed with collection or otherwise proceed with the claimant’s claims against the judgment debtor or debtors.
(D) That the claimant does not have a pending claim and has not collected on the final judgment from any other restitution fund. If the claimant has a pending claim or has collected from another fund, a description of the nature of the pending claim and the recovery amounts from any restitution fund.
(d) (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) the Secretary of State shall not condition an award of payment from the fund upon a claimant providing any additional information or documents other than those prescribed in subdivision (c).
(2) If the final judgment in favor of the claimant was by default, stipulated, a consent judgment, or pursuant to Section 594 of the Code of Civil Procedure or if the action against the corporation or its agent was defended by a trustee in bankruptcy, the Secretary of State may request additional documents and information from the claimant to determine whether the claim is valid.
(3) If the final judgment does not expressly set forth the amount of damages that were awarded for actual loss and compensatory damages that are payable from the fund pursuant to Section 2289, the Secretary of State may ask the claimant to provide copies of documentation pertaining to the amount of the actual and direct loss and the awarded compensatory damages or both of those findings. For purposes of this section, “sufficient proof of money damages” may include any of the following: copies of bank account statements showing or confirming particular transactions, copies of the front and back of checks made payable to the corporation that have been negotiated, credit card statements showing or confirming particular transactions, or similar documentation demonstrating financial loss directly resulting from the fraudulent acts by the corporation or its agent and the amount of compensatory damages awarded by the court.
(4) If there is no court determination or finding of the insolvency of the judgment debtor or lack of assets to pay the claimant, the Secretary of State may request additional information and documentation from the claimant to determine what assets, if any, are available to satisfy the final judgment.
(e) The Secretary of State shall include with the application form a notice to the claimant of his or her obligation to protect the underlying judgment from discharge in bankruptcy, to be appended to the application.
(f) If a claimant is a spouse, registered domestic partner, or an immediate family member of an employee, officer, director, managing agent, or other principal of the corporation, or is a personal representative of the spouse, registered domestic partner, or an immediate family member of an employee, officer, director, managing agent, or other principal of the corporation, the claimant shall not be precluded for that reason alone from receiving an award where the claimant can otherwise meet the requirements of this section.
(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 561, Sec. 25. (AB 1516) Effective January 1, 2018.)