Firm Wins Motion Dismissing RICO Case


John Brickman and Andrew Luskin of the firm’s litigation department won  dismissal of claims brought against the firm’s clients under the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”).

The plaintiffs, individuals and companies in Germany, claimed that the defendants had engaged in RICO activities involving the creation of a “fake transaction,” involving purportedly forged documents and false testimony in German courts.  They sued in federal court in Central Islip.

In a decision dated June 28, 2016, Judge Leonard Wexler dismissed the claims in their entirety, holding that the plaintiffs’ amended complaint was insufficient, in that it failed to plead an organized entity, an enterprise with a common purpose that functions as a continuing unit, and that each of the defendants had some part in directing the affairs of the enterprise.  Judge Wexler also held that the plaintiffs failed to plead RICO “predicate acts” with the required particularity, including who made the statements alleged, what anyone said, or how any statement was fraudulent.

The case, Aerowest GmbH v. Freitag, bears docket no. 15 CV 02894 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Mr. Brickman heads the firm’s litigation group and Mr. Luskin is a partner in the practice.  The firm’s litigators regularly handle RICO claims, as well as a wide variety of commercial, business, real estate, and trusts and estates cases.