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Robins Kaplan LLP Secures Ninth Circuit Victory for Defendants in Civil RICO Action

Los Angeles, CA—January 9, 2017—Robins Kaplan LLP® secured a victory this week on behalf of three California businessmen who had been accused of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a federal district court’s previous dismissal of the case against the individual defendants, also secured by Robins Kaplan.

Trio Represented by David Martinez and Elan Bloch of Robins Kaplan’s Retail Industry Practice Group

“We are pleased with the Ninth Circuit’s decision, which represents a total victory for our clients and affirms the dismissal of all claims against them,” said David Martinez, partner and co-chair of Robins Kaplan’s Retail Industry Practice group, who was lead counsel to the individual defendants at both the trial and appellate levels.

The lawsuit, brought by a California resident, asserted several racketeering claims, including allegations that the defendants engaged in a complex identity theft scheme to launder money from the sale of a night club in San Francisco through a phony Wells Fargo account. The lawsuit asserted two civil RICO claims against the individual defendants and derivative claims against Wells Fargo.

In February of 2015, Robins Kaplan won the dismissal of both RICO claims against its clients in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiff appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit, and the three-judge panel on Jan. 3 unanimously affirmed the lower court’s decision.

In addition to David Martinez, the Robins Kaplan team included Elan Bloch.

The appeal, Millie Ogden v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA., was heard at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by Circuit Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan, Circuit Judge Carlos Bea, and Circuit Judge Sandra Ikuta.