FKB’s Andrew S. Kowlowitz and Stefanie A. Singer obtained pre-answer dismissal of federal RICO and mail fraud claims commenced against a prominent trusts and estates attorney in the Southern District of New York.
Plaintiffs alleged a conspiracy to defraud their elderly father/uncle of his assets, including valuable real estate, and attempted to implicate FKB’s client, a New York attorney, along with several other co-defendants involved in the underlying transactions. FKB filed a pre-answer motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to F.R.C.P. 12(b) on several grounds, including that Plaintiffs failed to plead facts sufficient to link FKB’s client to a criminal “enterprise” or a violation of the federal mail fraud statute.
Plaintiffs amended their complaint, adding claims against not only FKB’s attorney client, but against the attorney’s entire law firm as well. FKB then filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint seeking dismissal with prejudice. Judge Allison Nathan, of the Southern District of New York, agreed with FKB’s arguments that Plaintiffs did not plausibly allege two or more “predicate acts” and, even if they had, their complaint did not establish the “continuity” requirement for a “pattern of racketeering activity” under 18 U.S.C. § 1962. Justice Nathan further agreed that any subsequent amendments of the complaint would be futile and dismissed the action as against FKB’s client with prejudice.