July 25, 2021

TD Bank ordered to pay Rothstein victims

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TD BankBy Carlos Harrison, From Daily Business Review
A Miami federal judge has given TD Bank until Thursday to pay $67 million to a group of investors in disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein’s failed $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.
U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke’s order could finally bring an end to a three-year battle over the $32 million in compensatory damages and $35 million in punitive damages awarded by a jury to Texas-based Coquina Investments LLC.
TD Bank’s motion asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to stay Cooke’s order was denied by a three-judge panel Friday.
Coquina attorney David Mandel in Miami called Cooke’s decision a welcome closure to the lengthy legal fight.
“It’s been more than five long years since TD Bank defrauded us and a lot of other investors, and over three years since TD cheated in spectacular fashion at the trial, and still lost,” said Mandel of Mandel & Mandel. “Coquina is very pleased that it’s finally time for TD to pay the piper.”
Cooke authorized Mandel to collect from TD Bank’s appellate bond if the payment is late.
All may not be done, however. TD Bank spokeswoman Judith Schmidt on Monday said, “While TD Bank will comply with the court’s order, we are disappointed with the ruling, and we have filed an appeal.”
The lawsuit began in 2010 when Coquina alleged TD Bank employees knew about Rothstein’s settlement financing fraud and helped him perpetrate it. A jury awarded damages to Coquina in July 2012.
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the verdict last July and refused to rehear the case. In its motion to enforce the judgment, Coquina noted the deadline to petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court has passed.
“Judge, this is like a football game,” Mandel said in his argument before Cooke on Feb. 11. “The game is over, the crowd has left, and the cleaning crew is working in the stands. In spite of TD’s numerous unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, the scoreboard shows that we won 67 to nothing. And despite everything, TD is here today throwing a Hail Mary pass, not acknowledging that there is no time left on the clock.”
He accused the bank of stalling and noted, “Several of Coquina’s partners are elderly and, judge, shouldn’t in fairness they get a chance to use the money the jury awarded for their injuries during their lifetimes?”
TD Bank attorney Mark W. Kinghorn of McGuireWoods argued Coquina would receive all but $7.5 million of the $32 million in compensatory damages from the bankruptcy trustee for Rothstein’s law firm, Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler. He maintained payment from the bank would amount to a double recovery for the investors.
Mandel agreed Coquina already received $9.1 million from the bankruptcy trustee but asked the judge to order the amount to be returned to the bankruptcy liquidator. Cooke agreed.
Rothstein was given a 50-year sentence after pleading guilty in January 2010 to two counts of fraud and three counts of conspiracy. In December 2011, he testified former TD Bank regional vice president Frank Spinosa aided him in defrauding investors.
Spinosa invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 193 times when he was called to testify in the Coquina trial. He faces a fraud conspiracy indictment.
For more on this story go to: http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/id=1202718673866/TD-Bank-Ordered-to-Pay-Rothstein-Victims#ixzz3SgNRlBau

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