On January 29, 2015, the Daily Journal published an article titled “Judge Tosses Charges Against Investment Bank.” I was quoted in this article regarding my representation of Shattuck Hammond Partners.
The article discusses a Superior Court judge’s decision to dismiss charges against my client, an investment bank, for their alleged role in a Ponzi scheme that duped dozens of investors into buying $200 million in securities for senior housing facilities.
The plaintiff investors accused the investment bank of assisting Asset Real Estate and Investment Company in sales of tenant-in-common (TIC) interests in 34 properties.
I am quoted in the article stating: “We had no involvement on the equity side in an attempt to raise money on these TIC interests. The court agreed with us.”
Shattuck Hammond had no involvement in the private placement memorandum – a document in the sales process of securities – that formed the basis for the investors’ investments.
Neal Marder has earned widespread recognition as a leading white-collar defense attorney with a focus on class action litigation and securities fraud cases. He has successfully defended numerous clients, including China-based corporations and individuals. Among his areas of practice, Marder has gained experience in cases involving the well-known RICO law.
In 1970, the U.S. Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, designed to fight the operations of alleged organized crime syndicates. The law permits prosecution, as well as the levying of civil penalties, for any type of racketeering operation conducted in the course of an ongoing set of criminal activities. The racketeering charges may stem from alleged involvement in counterfeiting, money laundering, bribery, unlawful gambling, and a variety of other actions.
Since its origins as a Mafia-fighting tool for law enforcement, RICO has broadened in practice to include prosecution of a number of non-organized crime operations and organizations, including motorcycle gangs, corporations accused of environmental pollution, and protest groups focused on social issues.
To obtain a RICO conviction, the government agency plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant was involved in at least two instances of racketeering activity and additionally maintained direct involvement in one or more criminal actions touching on foreign or domestic interstate commerce.
A team of attorneys, including Neal Marder of Winston & Strawn, successfully defended China Automotive Systems against a two-part lawsuit challenging its accounting practices. The efforts of Neal Marder and his team led to the judge denying shareholders’ class certification in their lawsuit, signaling a setback for a slew of similar lawsuits against Chinese reverse-merger companies. US District Court Judge Katherine Forrest stated that the plaintiffs, three purchasers of China Automotive securities, did not effectively show that they were entitled to a class-action lawsuit.
The case stemmed from a complaint that China Automotive Systems released false and misleading accounting statements that were later revealed to be the product of accounting fraud. When the company announced that it would restate its finances, its stock price dropped and the plaintiffs who sued wanted their lawsuit to represent all American investors who bought stock in China Automotive Systems during that time period. China Automotive was one of many Chinese companies that entered the US stock market through a reverse merger during this time, and its victory in this lawsuit was widely lauded as one of the first of its kind.
On May 13th, legal professionals from across the country joined Law Seminars International (LSI) in Seattle for the two-day Comprehensive Conference on Class Actions and Other Aggregate Litigation. Themed “Practice Tips for Keeping Up With a Rapidly Changing Landscape,” the meeting covered class action trends across the United States, highlighted new Supreme Court cases, and discussed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Attorneys, business executives, government officials, and consultants alike benefited from analysis of some of 2012’s most important class action developments. The program, which featured talks by such leading attorneys as Charles B. Casper and Timothy G. Fielden, provided 13.25 Washington Continuing Legal Education credits.
Neal Marder, a partner at Winston & Strawn’s Los Angeles offices, spoke at LSI’s Seventh Annual Comprehensive Conference on Litigating Class Actions in 2011. During this presentation, he lectured on how increased regulation, specifically through the Dodd Frank Act, could lead to increased rates of class action lawsuits. Named one of the Best Lawyers in America for six consecutive years, Neal Marder regular speaks at national conferences and hosts webinars and other educational events related to class action litigation.