UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
- GKN Filing Confirmation 1 17 cv 22406 kmw
- GKN Lawsuit Items 1-46
- GKN Lawsuit Items 148-218
- GKN Lawsuit Items 47-147
- GKN Notice Of Address Change
- GKN JM Motion To Desist Exhibit E
- GKN JM Motion To Desist Exhibits A d
- GKN JM Motion To Desist response To Warden Letter
John A. Mattera,
Lawrence G. Nusbaum; Martin H. Kaplan; Gusrae Kaplan Nusbaum PLLC, a New York Professional Limited Liability Corp.; Bradford van Siclen; Inga Walter van Siclen;
Case No. see filing
Jury Trial Demanded.
Complaint for Legal Malpractice, and Damages
Plaintiff, John A. Mattera, pro se, files his complaint for legal malpractice and damages against defendants, Lawrence G. Nusbaum, Martin H. Kaplan, Gusrae Kaplan Nusbaum PLLC, Bradford van Siclen, and Inga Walter van Siclen, and states as follows:
- This is a case wherein the Plaintiff paid law firm, Gusrae Kaplan Nusbaum PLLC (hereinafter referred to as “GKN”), to represent him in two separate cases yet they failed and refused to acknowledge him as a client. Rather, Plaintiff’s law firm used Plaintiff’s privileged information and monies to assist a paid government informant, Bradford van Siclen, to indict Plaintiff on criminal charges and to deprive Plaintiff of a substantial settlement that he was entitled to receive, all of which allegations will be proven by evidence to be presented.
- In the first case, GKN chose to use Plaintiff’s wire transfer of $45,000.00 (See Exhibit 1) towards representation in a derivative action in which Plaintiff had a substantial interest, and provide Plaintiff with zero consideration for his money.
- This first case is a public company derivative action in which Plaintiff was represented by GKN. Plaintiff, along with his co-investor Marco Arese (hereinafter referred to as “Arese”), brought suit using GKN to represent them. GKN assisted in obtaining a favorable settlement. However, Plaintiff was excluded from the benefit of the lawsuit’s settlement. In this matter, GKN accepted money from Plaintiff via wire transfer. GKN used Plaintiff’s money without giving Plaintiff any consideration whatsoever, and later denied ever having been paid by Plaintiff or Plaintiff ever being a client of GKN in the first place, which means Plaintiff’s money was stolen.
- The second case involves the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in which GKN spent months gathering privileged and confidential information from Plaintiff. GKN represented Plaintiff’s co-defendant, Bradford van Siclen (hereinafter referred to as “BVS”) excluding Plaintiff from representation and directly participating with BVS against Plaintiff. As a result of same, Plaintiff was indicted and incarcerated, which ruined his ongoing businesses, destroyed his family life, deprived him of time which could have been spent with his ailing mother prior to her death, and other severe emotional damages and loss of income.
- This second case is even more egregious. Plaintiff was the financier and Chairman of the Advisory Board of a British Virgin Islands (BVI) corporation, a fully licensed hedge fund called The Praetorian Global Fund, LTD (hereinafter referred to as “TPGF”). Plaintiff’s associate, BVS, was Managing Director of TPGF.
- BVS claimed he received an SEC inquiry letter regarding TPGF. To wit, Plaintiff paid a substantial amount of monies directly and indirectly to GKN, including a $25,000 wire directly to GKN and another $50,000 given to BVS for the purpose of paying GKN for further legal representation of both Plaintiff and BVS. BVS then used Plaintiff’s money to pay GKN $25,000 by cashier’s check. Upon receipt of the initial inquiry from the SEC, BVS, the Managing Director of TPGF, approached Plaintiff, the Chairman of the Advisory Board for TPGF and financier of the venture, to pay GKN for their representation of TPGF, Plaintiff, and BVS. Plaintiff sent GKN his initial wire transfer of $25,000 in this SEC matter on 15 August 2011, with memo: “Brad van Siclen and John Mattera.” (See Exhibit 2)
- This second case was so incredibly devastating in that GKN spent three months communicating with Plaintiff, gathering details of Plaintiff’s personal life, his businesses and finances, learning details of TPGF, all evidenced by preserved emails, text messages, etc. BVS then concocted misrepresentations and misleading conversations, as aided and encouraged by GKN, to use against Plaintiff, GKN’s own client. The result of all the Defendants’ work was a criminal prosecution and a lengthy criminal sentence for Plaintiff, who has served at the present over four (4) years incarcerated. Presently, Plaintiff has a “Motion to Vacate” in the 2nd District Court of the United States based on fact that the Defendants manufactured evidence against Plaintiff, prosecutorial misconduct, entrapment, and several Brady v. Maryland violations. The criminal case against Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s conviction is a direct result of Plaintiff’s own attorneys’ efforts, and they then proceeded as if Plaintiff was never a client in either the securities derivative action nor in the SEC matters, even though they were paid by Plaintiff and gathered substantial amounts of privileged information from Plaintiff. Plaintiff also filed a New York Bar Association complaint against GKN after several certified letter requests for return of Plaintiff’s money went unanswered. GKN finally answered the Bar complaint through its managing member, Martin H. Kaplan (hereinafter referred to as “Kaplan”), who answered in half truths and outright lies, omitted critical evidence, misstated facts, altered documents, and selectively disclosed only what was thought necessary to escape the Bar complaint. When Plaintiff received a copy of Kaplan’s response to the NY Bar, Plaintiff realized that GKN had stolen his money. The New York Bar made it clear to Plaintiff, in the letter response dated 19 February 2016, that for Plaintiff to recover monetary damages he needed to file a civil complaint against Defendants.
- The money paid to GKN by Plaintiff, in the two separate cases, is stolen, in that defendants claim that Plaintiff was never a client though Plaintiff paid GKN, directly and indirectly, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees from the settlement and personally. Additionally, GKN excluded Plaintiff from the settlement that he was entitled to in the securities derivatives case.
- In the much more consequential case of the SEC and associated criminal matter, Plaintiff lost his freedom, his life was ruined, he experienced substantial and direct monetary damages in excess of USD$100,000,000.00 (100 million dollars), as well as losing his wife, his family, his health, and the respect of his community and his business partners. Further, Plaintiff lost existing business opportunities, which at the time, would have yielded hundreds of millions of dollars. Plaintiff’s family and loved ones suffered tremendously. And, by far the single worst thing that could happen to Plaintiff, his mother died while Plaintiff was incarcerated, without ever seeing her son vindicated from his wrongful imprisonment.
- Defendants have directly and indirectly caused enormous financial and other damages to Plaintiff’s life and loved ones. Defendants did this with impunity and the fully backing and support of the United States government.
- Plaintiff has several exhibits to present to this Honorable Court, and an active “Motion for Brady Violation Material,” which motion requests all parties’ direct and indirect correspondence with BVS, Plaintiff, the SEC, the Department of Justice, and any person or entity associated therewith and all information relating to BVS, the Managing Director of TPGF.
- Plaintiff fully expects his request to yield even more impeachment material from Defendants. These include Defendants’ emails, phone records, text records, account details in each case (the securities derivative case and SEC), Plaintiff’s attorney notes and files notes in each case, and several other sources of information. Everything is requested of GKN by Plaintiff, as their client, as is reasonable. Defendants did not send this information to Plaintiff, nor to the New York Bar. If Kaplan, the Managing Member of GKN, had given full disclosure to the New York Bar, the Bar would have come to the conclusion that GKN committed numerous ethical violations. This suit is being sent to the New York Bar, with a new Bar complaint not limited to Larry Nusbaum but also Marty Kaplan, and a criminal complaint to the New York State Attorney’s Office, for grand theft.
Jurisdiction and Venue
- This action is brought for claims under diversity of citizenship pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332 in that Plaintiff and Defendants are citizens of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $250,000.00 exclusive of interest and costs.
- Venue is proper in the State of Florida pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1391(a) and §1401 in that a substantial amount of the events occurred in Florida, all monies sent via wire transfer originated in Florida, and Plaintiff is a resident of Florida.
Statute of Limitations
- The instant complaint for legal malpractice is within the five (5) year Federal statute of limitations and the two (2) years of the Florida statute of limitations. Federal fraud cases carry a statute of limitations of 5 years according to 28 U.S.C. §2462 which limits the time within which an action, suit, or proceeding can be filed.
- Plaintiff contends that Federal law applies in this diversity action.
- Also, it is to be noted that Federal law provides for a statute of limitations of ten (10) years where there is a mail and wire fraud scheme.
- Federal securities law, section 10(b) of the SEC Act of 1984 and SEC Rule 10(b)-5 has a strict statute of limitations of 2 years after the fraud is discovered, as is the case herein, and not more than 5 years after the fraud occurred. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 expanded the statute of limitations to the current 2- and 5-year periods. Also, there are similar statutes of limitations for rights of actions under the Securities Act of 1934 in connection with untrue statements or omissions, which are entirely and abundantly clear and evident in the case herein, as to such time as discovery reasonably, should have occurred. In Plaintiff’s case, discovery occurred after multiple inquiries into the securities derivative action and SEC action which went unanswered by Defendants Kaplan, Nusbaum, and GKN, and after the New York Bar complaint forced Defendants to respond, and Plaintiff was bewildered by the untrue statements delivered to the New York Bar by Plaintiff’s lawyers, the Defendants. More digging into the matter, because of the questions raised by the untrue statements in Kaplan’s response to the New York Bar, revealed that GKN planned Plaintiff’s setup and takedown with BVS in order to extricate themselves from their own mess and pin the blame on Plaintiff. This discovery was made on or about March 2016. Wheeler v. Jackson, 137 U.S. 245, 258 (1890); Kentucky Union Co. v. Kentucky, 219 U.S. 156 (1911); CF Logan v. Zimmerman Brush Co., 455 U.S. 422, 437 (1982).
- Moreover, a State may extend the time in which suits may be brought in its courts and may even entirely remove a statutory bar to the commencement of litigation. 935 Blinn v. Nelson, 222 U.S. 1 (1911); 936 Turner v. New York, 168 U.S. 90, 94 (1897); 937 Soper v. Lawrence Brothers, 201 U.S. 359 (1906).
- Statutes of limitations depend on State or Federal law and the type of offense, which includes Legal Malpractice, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Aiding and Abetting Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Breach of Contract, Unjust Enrichment, Grand Theft of Over $100,000.00, Civil Theft, Tortious Interference in a Business Relationship, Slander and Libel, and Fraud, herein. These statutes of limitations start on “date of harm” and/or date you first discover that you were harmed, at a later date, as herein. Sometimes, the clock starts when you should have discovered the harm, which in Plaintiff’s case it started in March of 2016 when Plaintiff received GKN’s response to the New York Bar complaint, written by Kaplan.
- As concerns the statute of limitations for civil conspiracy, there is no limit. Conspiring is continuing in nature. In the instant case, claims for conspiring can be maintained because Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum, participated with BVS to fabricate a criminal action against Plaintiff.
- Plaintiff, John A. Mattera (hereinafter referred to as “Mattera” or “Plaintiff”), is a permanent resident of Broward County, Florida, with address at 2890 NE 28th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306, and is presently in Federal custody at Yazoo City Federal Correctional Complex Low, Registration Number 97650-004 P.O. Box 5000, Yazoo City, MS 39194. Mattera is a private investor.
- Defendant Lawrence G. Nusbaum (hereinafter referred to as “Nusbaum”) is sui juris, licensed to practice law in the State of New York, and is a member of defendant law firm Gusrae Kaplan Nusbaum PLLC, located at 120 Wall Street, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10005.
- Defendant Martin H. Kaplan (hereinafter referred to as “Kaplan”) is sui juris, licensed to practice law in the State of New York, and is a member of defendant law firm Gusrae Kaplan Nusbaum PLLC, located at 120 Wall Street, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10005.
- Defendant Gusrae Kaplan Nusbaum PLLC (hereinafter referred to as “GKN”) is a New York Private Limited Liability Corporation with offices located at 120 Wall Street, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10005.
- Defendant Bradford van Siclen (hereinafter referred to as “BVS”) is sui juris and a resident of New Jersey whose home address is 81 Club Road, Montclair, New Jersey 07043.
- Defendant Inga Walter van Siclen (hereinafter referred to as “Mrs. Van Siclen”) is sui juris, the ex-wife of Bradford van Siclen, and a resident of New Jersey. Her home address is 52 Dryden Road, Montclair, New Jersey 07043.
- Plaintiff is a client of GKN since 8 December 2010, when he and his associate Marco Arese (hereinafter referred to as “Arese”) executed a retainer agreement for legal representation in the matter of Argo Digital Solutions Inc., et al. vs. Jason M. Kates, et al, united States District Court Southern District of New York, Case No. 12-cv-6968, a derivative action against a public company, Argo Digital Solutions Inc., and RVUE Holdings Inc. (See Exhibit 3)
- Arese wire transferred GKN two wires totaling $15,000 in December 2010 and January 2011, though the retainer agreement only called for $10,000. Plaintiff made the next payment for attorney’s fees via his company, Rhino Island Capital, on 22 August 2011 for $45,000. (See Exhibit 1) There was a $19,826.65 balance due to GKN, and GKN immediately used Plaintiff’s 22 August 2011 wire for $45,000 to pay this balance and future expenses. In September 2011, Arese forwarded another $15,000 to GKN for a grand total paid by Plaintiff and Arese of $75,000, for attorney’s fees and costs: $45,000 from Plaintiff and $30,000 from Arese.
- Plaintiff was introduced to GKN in November 2010 by BVS, at a dinner meeting at a Boca Raton, Florida restaurant with member of Argo Digital Solutions (hereinafter referred to as “Argo”). BVS overheard Plaintiff’s conversation on the phone with Arese, discussing the illegal unwinding of Argo, a debt-ridden company in which Plaintiff and his company, Mattera Asset Management Inc., had a substantial investment and holdings. BVS recommended GKN, as legal counsel, to Plaintiff. BVS cited that GKN practiced extensively before the SEC, had several close ties to the SEC and DOJ, and that BVS had used GKN extensively in the past. Mattera contacted GKN first, then brought Arese to GKN as well, at a later date.
- BVS asked Plaintiff if “we retain Larry [Nusbaum]” on 1 December 2010 (see Exhibit 4), and the retainer letter was signed by both Plaintiff and Arese on 8 December 2010. The retainer letters were signed separately, as Plaintiff lives in Florida and Arese lives in Italy. This was followed by a phone call between Arese and Nusbaum on 15 December 2010.
- During this time period, BVS was in the midst of recovering substantial losses, which he had caused Plaintiff in a 2007 investment that Plaintiff made in a public company, American Diversified Holdings Corp. (otcbb: ADHC; hereinafter referred to as “ADHC”). Simultaneous with his efforts with ADHC, BVS pitched Plaintiff on another investment, this time into a company called Saudi American Holdings Corp. (otcbb: SAHN; hereinafter referred to as “SAHN”). BVS backed up his sales pitch with what Plaintiff now knows to be falsified and fraudulent Edgar filings that presented SAHN as a promising investment. (See Exhibit 5) Plaintiff wound up investing millions of dollars into SAHN. Also, simultaneous with this, BVS, in a surprising move, volunteered to oversee the Argo/RVUE case with GKN, who were representing Plaintiff and Arese.
- BVS’s role was to ensure that all supporting documentation and evidence gathered by Plaintiff during his investment with Argo was gathered, organized, and sent to both Arese and GKN, who was acting as Plaintiff’s attorneys in the matter. This is evidenced in a series of text messages dated 28 February 2011, where Mattera says to BVS, “Marco [Arese] never received IM [Investment Memorandum] requested early last week.” BVS’s answer to Plaintiff was, “Marco [Arese] will have IM to his Yahoo account this am,” all referring to the process of making sure GKN and Arese had all of Plaintiff’s investment documents in the Argo matter to formulate a demand letter first and a lawsuit only if the demand/negotiations failed. (See Exhibit 6)
- In the following months, there was constant contact between Plaintiff, Arese, and defendants BVS, Nusbaum, Kaplan, and GKN, evidenced by hundreds of text messages, emails, phone calls, and in-person meetings both domestically and overseas where Plaintiff hosted Arese for dinner with BVS, who was in attendance, at Chops Lobster Bar in Boca Raton, Florida and at the Four Seasons in Milan, Italy. In these communications and meetings, Plaintiff, Arese, and BVS attended to matters regarding the Argo/RVUE case with GKN, and also attended to other business ventures which Mattera and Arese were exploring.
- On 21 July 2011, Arese sent a text to BVS letting him know that “We [Plaintiff and Arese] are on the phone waiting,” as to do a three-way conference call to discuss updates on the Argo/RVUE matter with GKN and also to explore new deals. (See Exhibit 7) During that call, Arese told Plaintiff that it was Plaintiff’s turn to pay GKN, prompting Plaintiff’s payment to GKN from Plaintiff’s company, Rhino Island Capital, with memo: “RVUE” per the wire instructions that Plaintiff received from Nusbaum as an attachment in his email to Plaintiff. (See Exhibit 8)
- In September 2011, Plaintiff and Arese received an email from Nusbaum, with the Demand Letter attached, stating that GKN represents its clients: Mattera Asset Management Inc., Caseville Investments LTD, MBC Investments SA, and Watkins International LTD, for Plaintiff’s and Arese’s approval. Defendant Kaplan did not disclose this letter to the NY Bar. Additionally, this is evidenced by text messages between Plaintiff and BVS on 21 September 2011, wherein Plaintiff asked BVS, “Any news on the Argo letter?” Within three minutes, BVS responded, “Larry [Nusbaum] speaks to you on it.” (See Exhibit 9)
Facts Relevant to SEC Inquiry of The Praetorian Global Fund, LTD Matter
- In July 2011, BVS began preparing the unraveling of TPGF. BVS had been actively sabotaging TPGF from its inception without Plaintiff’s knowledge. This caused Plaintiff substantial losses while Plaintiff continued to pay BVS a substantial salary, expenses, and stock from TPGF. BVS also led Plaintiff to believe they needed to travel to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to make certain all was in order with the government of BVI and with Plaintiff’s attorney and corporate formation specialist used by Plaintiff for many years, Mr. Kerry Anderson at O’Neal, Webster, LTD and Coverdale Associates, LTD. (See Exhibit 10)
- BVS wanted to ensure that his co-conspirator and BVS’s former co-manager of TPGF, John G. Hartley’s, plan for ‘insurance’ was carried out. At the request of John G. Hartley (hereinafter referred to as “Hartley”), Plaintiff’s wife, Dr. Lan T. Phan Mattera, was added to TPGF’s BVI subsidiary, Praetorian Management Limited, as “insurance” that Plaintiff would continue to pay BVS’s other salaries, bills, and expenses. BVS’s true intent in this was to entangle Plaintiff into the Defendants’ wrongdoing and to fabricate a case against him. (See Exhibit 11)
- On that same trip, BVS met with TPGF’s attorneys, Ogier, and TPGF’s accountants, KPMG, to inform them of Hartley’s resignation and Dr. Lan Mattera’s appointment in his stead. Plaintiff, unaware of the many scams that Hartley, BVS, and their network of government backed professional confidential informants had performed over many years targeting wealthy individuals like himself, agreed to the arrangement, as did Dr. Lan Mattera. BVS led Plaintiff to believe that Hartley was removed as a Director of TPGF because of his disapproval of BVS’s handling of TPGF and that he was demanding exorbitant amounts of money for salary and expenses. BVS told his confidante and paramour, Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Evans, on 15 July 2011, “Confidentially, I just spent three days in the BVI dealing with Hartley’s BS and saving relationships with accountants and attorneys that he wronged. I have nothing more to say to my great friend Hartley after what I dealt with in the BVI.” (See Exhibit 12)
- Plaintiff was present for all meetings with O’Neal Webster, Coverdale, KPMG, and Ogier. BVS’s behavior, as evidenced in his text messages, was Machiavellian. He would tell one person lies about the other in order to divide them against each other and manipulate matters to his own ends. In this case, BVS’s aim was to pit Plaintiff against Hartley, Hartley against Liz Evans, and then to pit Liz Evans against Plaintiff, and so on. This was common behavior for BVS. (See Exhibit 13) BVS has much experience with manipulations, learned in his long running career as a confidential informant (CI) for the United States government, working under a long-time professional CI, Patrick J. Lochrie, and their FBI and U.S. Treasury handlers.
- In late July 2011, BVS told Plaintiff that he needed to fly to London to meet with SAHN’s partners to ensure payment of a $7,100,000.00 dividend to Plaintiff. SAHN is, in fact, a publicly traded FBI storefront in which Plaintiff, and hundreds of investors in various jurisdictions, were fraudulently induced to invest in SAHN by BVS, Patrick J. Lochrie, David Carruthers, disbarred attorney Stephen Czarnik, Jeffrey Chong, and many unlicensed brokers associated with TPGF scams. Plaintiff personally invested millions of dollars of his own money, and hundreds of other investors invested millions of dollars more into the FBI storefront SAHN. David Carruthers was SAHN’s President. BVS was SAHN’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Senior Vice President. Matthew Marsenison was listed as a Director. HRH Badr bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al Saud was listed as a Director. Seth Elliot was listed as a consultant. Hernando Perez was listed as a consultant. Patrick J. Lochrie was listed as a consultant. BVS provided Plaintiff with falsified Edgar filings, which included fraudulent financial statements “prepared by KPMG Saudi Arabia,” as well as grandiose cover letters citing SAHN’s capitalization and business deals, in order to gain Plaintiff’s confidence. Plaintiff was owed a $7.1 Million dividend payment, owed since May 2011, which had gone unpaid by BVS. Plaintiff wired, at BVS’s instructions, millions of dollars to BVS, to David Carruthers, and to Patrick J. Lochrie in exchange for what turns out to be worthless shares of SAHN, all of which was stolen, as SAHN is an FBI storefront and not a legitimate business.
- In reality, BVS and Carruthers had discussed shutting down SAHN in February 2011 and confirmed SAHN being “offline” in May 2011, evidenced by two text messages dated 22 February 2011 and 11 May 2011. BVS never informed Plaintiff of this, even though BVS was selling Plaintiff SAHN shares. Regardless, BVS, Carruthers, and Lochrie, used SAHN to plot, attempt, and commit several other scams against wealthy investors in the U.S. and multiple other countries, without Plaintiff’s knowledge.
- When Plaintiff purchased 11 million shares of SAHN from BVS, Carruthers, and Lochrie, via a plethora of wires to the same, the stock was trading at $1 to $2 per share. But, as Plaintiff recently discovered, the stock has always been worthless, just like many other scams perpetrated by this gang of U.S. government-backed CI’s and fraudsters, which will be exposed in this case and another parallel case that Plaintiff and hundreds of other scammed investors are filing against BVS and his associates. The parallel case is a class action with at least 300+ victims known to Plaintiff, and likely thousands more, given that BVS, Carruthers, Lochrie, and their associates have a long history of criminal activities dating back at least to 1999. Much of this has gone on with the full knowledge and blessings of the United States government, and it is obvious that Plaintiff was the target of a very sophisticated entrapment.
- At this time in May 2011, circumstances were tightening on BVS. BVS was involved in another case, in which his brother Todd van Siclen texted him on 7 May 2011 and asked to “Get a better perspective on your [BVS’s] case.” (See Exhibit 16) Todd van Siclen is a disbarred attorney, disbarred for participation in a pump and dump scheme, formerly employed by The Otto Law Group. David Martin Otto, the principle of The Otto Law Group, was also disbarred in the same matter. BVS, Todd van Siclen, David Martin Otto, David Carruthers, Patrick J. Lochrie, and several other individuals named in the parallel class action have a long history of scams and frauds going back at least to 1999.
- BVS’s trip to London was not made to benefit Plaintiff or to secure the $7.1 Million owed in dividends. Instead, it was to meet with BVS’s co-conspirator and long-time FBI and U.S. Treasury operative and professional CI: Patrick J. Lochrie. On 22 July 2011, BVS received a text message from David Carruthers, who said that Patrick J. Lochrie would stay in the U.K. until BVS came over to meet him on 1 August 2011.
- BVS, Carruthers, and Lochrie have a long history together as fraudsters, scam artists, and paid confidential informants for the U.S. government, including the FBI and Treasury.
- BVS was CFO and Senior VP of SAHN and Managing Director of TPGF. His history with his fellow CI’s extends back at least as far as the massive pump and dump scheme involving Nannaco Inc., Bartholomew International Investments, The Otto Law Group, Amenni LLC, Arabian Recab for Trading, Reality Wireless Networks Inc., and several other companies.
- Carruthers was President of SAHN, and later a co-founder of other companies with BVS and Lochrie, including Apheleon (UK) and Careernet Global (Naples, FL). Carruthers was also acting as another unlicensed broker for TPGF, shopping Fisker and Facebook shares, unbeknownst to Plaintiff.
- Patrick J. Lochrie is a notorious international fraudster and U.S. government operative; a long-time associate of disbarred attorney Todd van Siclen, BVS’s brother, and David Martin Otto of The Otto Law Group, also disbarred; CEO of Amenni LLC, officer and Registered Agent of Amenni, Inc.; President of Arabian Recab for Trading; owner and officer of Enduam (various jurisdictions), which was sanctioned by Dubai FSA; owner of LAH Consulting; major shareholder and “consultant” for Saudi American Holdings Corp.; Director of Careernet Global and partner in same with disgraced former FBI Special Agent Ross Gaffney and partner in same with SAHN officer Hernando Perez; and an acknowledged paid confidential informant and employee of the United States Government under the Westfall Act according to Lochrie’s testimony in Shimoda Atlantic v. Talon Holdings, et al – which became Shimoda Atlantic v. United States of America. Lochrie was also acting as another unlicensed broker for TPGF, shopping Fisker and Facebook shares to wealthy Saudi Arabians and other individuals, unbeknownst to Plaintiff.
- The clandestine meeting between BVS and Lochrie in London Heathrow (See Exhibit 17) was not to discuss the $7.1 Million dividends owed Plaintiff, but rather to discuss the case being manufactured against Plaintiff, how to proceed with the set-up and take-down of Plaintiff, and the roles to be played by Defendants Kaplan, Nusbaum, and GKN. (See Exhibit 18) Also discussed were the details of several other frauds and scams which the long-time associates were running at the same time, of which Plaintiff was not aware at the time.
- BVS and Lochrie discussed how to take down Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s trusted associate, Johnny Ray Arnold. The strategy and “how-to’s” of going about this were hammered out during the 3 August 2011 meeting in London Heathrow, and continued afterwards. BVS was coached by Lochrie on how to manufacture evidence and how to shift the blame for BVS’s crimes onto Plaintiff. BVS also discussed these strategies with Defendants Kaplan, Nusbaum, and GKN, as well as with other associates such as the unlicensed brokers BVS brought into TPGF. These included Anthony DiGiovanni Jr., formerly of Seaboard Securities in New Jersey, which was closed down by the SEC, and an unlicensed broker barred for life from the securities industry, to whom BVS ordered Plaintiff pay fees and commissions for DiGiovanni’s role in raising money for TPGF as a Third Party Marketer. Third Party Marketers must be in compliance with Rule 3a4-1 and Regulation D of the 1933 Act, whereas they cannot accept money for referring investors to any licensed investment fund without being licensed and registered with the SEC. Anthony DiGiovanni Jr. is barred for life, BVS’s best friend, unlicensed, and BVS had knowledge of his unlicensed status when BVS ordered Plaintiff to pay DiGiovanni’s fees. Anthony DiGiovanni Sr. and Anthony DiGiovanni Jr. were the principles at Seaboard Securities in New Jersey: BVS’s, Seth Elliot’s, and Jeffrey Chong’s physical business office in New Jersey at the time that BVS crept back into Plaintiff’s life, after losing SAHN’s last victim and benefactor, Matthew Marsenison of Trident Aerospace, in another scam with the same associates.
- On 11 August 2011, Anthony ‘Tony’ DiGiovanni Jr. asked BVS via a text message, “How you doing today.” BVS replied, “Worse.” Subsequent messages show clearly that the two have conspired and spoken on this subject before. Further, Tony says, “This get out Praetorian is gonna be Madoff outcast status.” Immediately after, Tony follows up with, “Good news is we can spin it, blame John [Mattera] and publicly remove him lol.” (See Exhibit 19)
- BVS and his vast array of unlicensed brokers – such as: Patrick J. Lochrie, Elizabeth Evans, Anthony DiGiovanni Jr., Jonathon Palazollo, Joseph Almazon, Sal Moretti, Bob Gray, Todd van Siclen, David Carruthers, David Howard (currently incarcerated), Jeffrey Chong, and more, who received exorbitant 10% commissions directly from Plaintiff at BVS’s orders – conspired to pin their crimes on Plaintiff and to deflect the blame for their wrongdoings. All of BVS’s unlicensed brokers had prior relationships with BVS, and some raised money above TPGF’s per-share price and took funds directly into their own accounts, such as Elizabeth Evans, Joseph Almazon, Jonathon Palazollo, and David Howard, using their own documentation, taking a large percentage and then transferring the balance due to TPGF. To date, only Plaintiff has been held financially responsible for their misconduct, despite being unaware of their behavior and practices and despite Plaintiff not being an officer, shareholder, or Director of TPGF or any of its subsidiaries (See Exhibit 10), and despite copious documentation proving that authority was all solely in the hands of BVS.
- One of the worst examples is with BVS’s long-time lover, friend, confidante, and associate Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Evans, at the time of Stone Soup Capital LLC in South Dakota, Praefectus LLC, and Verde Capital LLC. Liz Evans obtained her license after her time with TPGF, and is currently employed at CKS Securities LLC, in Scottsdale, AZ. BVS and Liz Evans have a long history stretching back to their days together in Vancouver doing pump and dump schemes, beginning with David Martin Otto’s firm The Otto Law Group, where Todd van Siclen, BVS’s brother, was employed. Liz Evans racked up almost $1,000,000.00 (one million dollars) in expenses, fees, and commissions, and was not licensed at the time. BVS was fully aware of Liz Evans’s unlicensed status; Plaintiff was unaware of same at the time. Plaintiff was instructed by BVS to pay Liz Evans.
- BVS began, to the best of Plaintiff’s knowledge, scheming as far back as 1999. BVS’s associates include individuals such as Stephen Careaga of Firefighters National Trust, which was a charity set up one month before the 9/11 terrorist attacks and used to launder and embezzle millions of dollars worth of donations in the wake of 9/11. Careaga was also CEO of Reality Wireless Networks, CEO of Nannaco Inc., CEO of Recab International Inc., and CEO of Saudi American Holdings Corp., among other positions in partnership with the same cast of characters and professional government CI’s. BVS’s history with Patrick J. Lochrie, David Carruthers, Seth Elliot, David Martin Otto, John G. Hartley, and several others are also entangled with Stephen Careaga and many other scams the team has run in the past.
- In the SEC and TPGF matter, BVS convinced Plaintiff to sell Plaintiff’s company, Ischian Holdings LTD, to BVS – ostensibly in order to keep BVS’s earnings from TPGF offshore. In reality, the sale of Ischian Holdings LTD was in line with BVS and his associates’ long-established modus operandi of purchasing a legitimate asset with a promissory note and then not delivering on the promissory note and/or causing the original owner to lose the asset because of BVS and his associates’ manipulations.
- In this case, BVS arranged with Plaintiff to pay for Ischian Holdings LTD using the proceeds of TPGF, which BVS intended to run as a scam from the beginning, unbeknownst to Plaintiff. In that ignorance of BVS’s true intentions, Plaintiff arranged with BVS for BVS to pay Ischian Holdings LTD’s $21 Million (twenty-one million dollars) debt to Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s mother with the proceeds from what Plaintiff believed were legitimate operations of TPGF. Plaintiff was running a balance due him by BVS and TPGF. BVS paid Plaintiff for Ischian Holdings LTD using the money brought in from his unlicensed brokers. That money was cleared from escrow at the sole instruction of BVS, at BVS’s direct orders, not Plaintiff’s orders as the SEC’s and DOJ’s many press releases incorrectly announced. (See Exhibit 20) Plaintiff has since defaulted BVS and Ischian Holdings LTD, and the matter is in collection status. (See Exhibit 21)
- The almost $1 Million paid by Plaintiff to Elizabeth Evans has also been demanded by Plaintiff, and there is pending litigation on the matter. (See Exhibit 22)
- During this time, BVS was in constant contact with Elizabeth Evans, in which he criticized his co-manager of TPGF, John G. Hartley, for ruining TPGF’s relationship with KPMG, and Praetorian’s law firm, Ogier, both of which Plaintiff insisted upon hiring as a prerequisite for his financial backing of the TPGF venture.
- By August 2011, Plaintiff had paid out several million dollars to one licensed (Brookville Capital Partners LLC), and many unlicensed brokers, all long-time associates of BVS, all at the orders of BVS, who was Managing Director of TPGF.
- On 13 August 2011, BVS sent a text message to Plaintiff saying that he would be dealing with the SEC on the upcoming Monday and that he did not wish to speak to anyone until he speaks with “Larry [Nusbaum] and Marty [Kaplan],” the Defendants. (See Exhibit 23)
- Two days later, on 15 August 2011, BVS sent a text to Plaintiff, “UPDATE?” This referred to the date that BVS and Defendants were waiting for Plaintiff to send GKN the retainer fee so Defendants could begin to represent TPGF. Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum were being retained in the matter of what BVS led Plaintiff to believe was an “inquiry letter” from the SEC, and not a target letter, or lawsuit. To date, Plaintiff has not been provided with a copy of either. Plaintiff answered BVS’s request for an “UPDATE” immediately, with “Sent to Larry [Nusbaum]. He [Nusbaum] said fine.” (See Exhibit 24) This referred to Plaintiff’s sending of $25,000 to GKN on 15 August 2011 per GKN’s wire instructions, with memo: “Brad van Siclen and John Mattera.” (See Exhibit 2)
- Not only did Plaintiff wire GKN money, but he confirmed it verbally with Nusbaum, disproving Kaplan’s answer to the New York Bar in Bar complaint docket 2016-0181, where Kaplan states to the Bar: “Our firm never represented John Mattera individually, or Mattera Asset Management Inc. or Rhino Island Capital Inc,” and “we have never spoken to him [Plaintiff].” (See Exhibit 25)
- Kaplan’s lies to the New York Bar go even deeper, as has been recently discovered. In a text message dated 17 April 2011, BVS, the Managing Director of TPGF, says to Plaintiff, Chairman of the Advisory Board, “Messages into [Peter] Bresinden and Larry [Nusbaum] for block of FB.” This is in reference to the fact that Nusbaum was assisting BVS in the sourcing and sale of Facebook stock, and therefore was deeply involved in BVS’s frauds – thus, helping to explain why Nusbaum, Kaplan, and GKN would go to such lengths to assist in the manufacturing of a criminal case against Plaintiff, in order to put Plaintiff in prison for as long as possible and extricate themselves from the mess Nusbaum and GKN participated in. This also helps to explain why Kaplan, Managing Member of GKN, would so blatantly lie to the New York Bar to conceal the fact that Plaintiff was a client of GKN and attempt to avoid further inquiry into the matter. GKN and the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, under Preet Bharara, went even further in Plaintiff’s criminal case, heavily censoring the evidence provided to Plaintiff and his Defense attorney, scrubbing the record of all messages to and from GKN, Nusbaum, Kaplan, GKN’s family, BVS’s covert ‘Line2’ number, several entire months of records missing, multiple email addresses and other phone numbers missing, and likely many other still undiscovered redactions – all of which are flagrant Brady violations, all of which was done to protect BVS because BVS was GKN’s client, GKN’s co-conspirator, and the Government’s long-time professional CI.
- Kaplan, in his answer to the New York Bar, failed to enclose a copy of Plaintiff’s wire for $25,000 sent to his firm on 15 August 2011, or to address the same. He did mention that BVS paid GKN for “another matter,” other than the Argo/RVUE case and that GKN received payment from BVS for “that matter” on 28 September 2011, but failed to mention that it was for the SEC case in which Plaintiff was also a client, as evidenced by the 15 August 2011 wire for $25,000 and evidenced by extensive communications with Plaintiff, GKN, and BVS. Kaplan also failed to mention that the $45,000 wire in the Argo/RVUE matter from Plaintiff’s company Rhino Island Capital Inc., with memo “RVUE” was from Plaintiff, and was sent by Plaintiff according to GKN’s wire instructions, which Plaintiff received by email from Nusbaum.
- The first monies sent to GKN from Plaintiff were on 15 August 2011. The payment for “another matter” which Kaplan cites in his response to the New York Bar stemmed from BVS’s request for money from Plaintiff in a text dated 19 September 2011 in order to pay future GKN expenses. BVS said, “Fresh subpoena arrived from the SEC, we need to get him [Nusbaum] another 25k ASAP.” (See Exhibit 26) This was followed by Plaintiff saying to BVS, “How much is due Larry [Nusbaum].” BVS’s response was “25k.” (See Exhibit 27) This was followed by a damning text from BVS, which proves his elaborate scheme with Defendants to set up unsuspecting Plaintiff to take the fall in BVS’s scheme to defraud investors and manufacture evidence. This text, on 21 September 2011, said, “My thinking is you should send to me [the money for GKN’s continued representation in the SEC matter] and I write him [Nusbaum] a check to keep transaction out of line if [sic] fire.” (See Exhibit 28)
- Plaintiff sent BVS $50,000 to be used for future GKN legal expenses. On 28 September 2011, seven days after BVS suggested his scheme to “keep transaction out of line of fire” and create the flimsy evidence which Kaplan later attempted to present to the New York Bar, BVS paid GKN $25,000 with a cashier’s check. (See Exhibit 30) Kaplan later used this cashier’s check in his response to the New York Bar to attempt to obfuscate the matter and claim that Plaintiff was never a client of GKN.
- During August and September 2011, there are many communications between BVS and GKN, and Plaintiff and GKN, both directly with Plaintiff or via BVS, in which GKN obtained large amounts of attorney/client privileged and confidential information in the SEC matter. GKN ultimately used that privileged and confidential information to manufacture evidence against Plaintiff, their own client, and used it against Plaintiff when they chose to represent BVS against Plaintiff while BVS was testifying against Plaintiff as a confidential informant for the Government and the Prosecution. BVS used his own manufactured and/or twisted evidence, including illegally taped conversations and phone conversations recorded without Plaintiff’s knowledge, which is illegal in the State of Florida. In these communications, BVS manipulated the conversation to make it seem like Plaintiff was culpable in BVS’s crimes, and that BVS was innocent and ignorant. This is contrary to the facts in the case, as BVS was the sole officer and Managing Director of TPGF and its subsidiary LLC’s, had sole authority over the escrow account, had sole authority over BVS’s unlicensed brokers, and was running several other fraud schemes in multiple countries at the same time, all unbeknownst to Plaintiff at the time. Nevertheless, these manipulated recorded communications were used against Plaintiff while BVS testified against Plaintiff, using GKN as his attorneys – whom Plaintiff had paid to represent both Plaintiff and BVS, a flagrant conflict of interest.
- BVS’s recording of communications and manipulation of the conversations in phone calls and text messages was done with the coaching and guidance of Defendants GKN, Nusbaum, and Kaplan. All Defendants were also operating with the coaching and guidance of notorious long-time professional FBI confidential informant Patrick J. Lochrie, with whom BVS kept a running dialogue of clandestine communication throughout his involvement with Plaintiff and before, stretching back at least to 1999. Lochrie and BVS discussed the crafting of a record of communications which could later be used against Plaintiff in his prosecution, as evidenced by Lochrie’s 19 August 2011 text to BVS on their clandestine ‘Line2,’ which inadvertently leaked into the main, incomplete, text logs sent to Plaintiff by the Government. Lochrie tells BVS “Communication is important when building [a case].” (See Exhibit 31) This ‘Line2’ number was never provided to Plaintiff during his criminal proceedings, a flagrant Brady violation. The result of this conspiring was that BVS, who had never asked Plaintiff for proofs of ownership for any stock before meeting with Lochrie and GKN, launched a concerted effort to frame Plaintiff for BVS’s and Nusbaum’s criminal fraud regarding Facebook shares, constantly begging Plaintiff to provide “Proofs to Larry [Nusbaum]” via text and phone calls. At the same time, BVS was actively involved in at least four other fraud scams, as is plainly evidenced even by BVS’s incomplete text message logs – only provided to Plaintiff after Plaintiff’s conviction and sentencing.
- Both Nusbaum and Kaplan at GKN worked directly on the SEC matter, evidenced by a 16 August 2011 text message sent by BVS to Plaintiff a single day after GKN received Plaintiff’s first wire on 15 August 2011. The message from BVS to Plaintiff said, “So here is the download. Marty [Kaplan] went through the list of names and requests. He last went through the SPV [Special Purpose Vehicle] model. That was the bulk of it. All that is left is FB [Facebook] verification.” (See Exhibit 32) Facebook accounts for $1.2 Million (one million, two hundred thousand dollars) of the $13.5 Million (thirteen million, five hundred thousand dollars) restitution that Plaintiff was charged. BVS ended his text message with, “That’s it and they [GKN] can handle this matter.” This and other communications with BVS directly contradict Kaplan’s lies to the New York Bar.
- The remainder of the $13.5 Million restitution which Plaintiff was charged is largely in error on the Government’s part, as Fisker Automotive shares were never properly accounted for by the Government, and a motion is in front of the 2nd District for sentence reduction and for proper accounting, as the only legitimate things about TPGF were what Plaintiff was involved with. Plaintiff was operating under the presumption that TPGF was completely legitimate and therefore purchased millions of dollars of Fisker Automotive shares to add to one of BVS’s wholly managed SPV’s: Wilshire Capital Partners LLC. The sole Managing Director is BVS, and he alone controlled the shares of Fisker that Plaintiff purchased on behalf of Plaintiff’s agreements with BVS, and with BVS’s TPGF venture. The proper total for TPGF once the Government’s accounting errors are corrected, cited in the Motion before the 2nd District, is $11.8 Million (eleven million, eight hundred thousand dollars). This total is currently in audit and being revised substantially downwards. Of that $11.8 Million, $8 Million (eight million dollars) is due for Fisker Automotive shares, which should not have been charged to Plaintiff in his restitution, as they literally existed, unlike the rest of BVS’s fraudulent dealings. Nor should Plaintiff have been convicted in the first place.
- Throughout the next few weeks (August 15-September 30), BVS, at the direction of Kaplan, Nusbaum, and GKN, made it seem that Plaintiff was responsible for TPGF’s Facebook, Fisker, and Groupon shares. In fact, it was BVS’s responsibility as the sole owner of Ischian Holdings LTD, from his purchase on a promissory note in July 2010, to settle Ischian Holdings LTD’s debt and take possession of the miscellaneous shares owed to that company. BVS led Plaintiff to believe that the shares owed Ischian Holdings LTD by Avondale Group (Spain) were the sole issue at stake in the SEC matter, when in fact BVS had been fraudulently papering and selling Facebook shares for several months, with the assistance of Larry Nusbaum, unbeknownst to Plaintiff. Even in the case of Ischian Holdings LTD and Avondale Group, the responsibility to take possession of the Facebook shares at issue was solely in the hands of BVS, as was pointed out to BVS by Plaintiff upon BVS’s purchase of Ischian Holdings LTD in July 2010. Plaintiff has since defaulted BVS for non-payment of the promissory note for Ischian Holdings LTD. (See Exhibit 21) A default letter sent in January 2016 to Metropolitan Federal Detention Center (MDC) Brooklyn, where BVS was supposed to be serving a four (4) month sentence for this SEC matter, 4 years AFTER he plead guilty on 16 November 2011. Strangely, Plaintiff never received notice of service on BVS at MDC Brooklyn, nor was the package returned to Plaintiff.
- During the time period (August 15-September 30), BVS would send multiple messages to Plaintiff asking if Plaintiff had sent Facebook documents to GKN, all while desperately trying to run new deals and new scams to cover his tracks, unbeknownst to Plaintiff. BVS never asked Plaintiff, not once in thousands of media texts and emails that Plaintiff now has in his possession, for proof of Facebook shares prior to meeting with GKN and Patrick J. Lochrie. The frantic requests were made only after Plaintiff’s own attorneys, the Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum, coached BVS into requesting the $1.2 Million in Facebook shares, then manufacturing and manipulating the case against Plaintiff. Even when Plaintiff was in contact with Avondale Group, in an attempt to assist BVS in what Plaintiff believed to be a small matter caused by BVS’s incompetence, BVS pretended ignorance of what Plaintiff was talking about. (See Exhibit 33)
- One of the other scams that BVS was running concurrently with his conspiring with GKN and Lochrie, involved Legends Securities in New York City. On 26 September 2011, BVS contracted with Legends Securities’ Mario Gogliormella and Enver Alijaj, in which contract BVS represented himself as the Managing Director of “Praetorian Fund.” Praetorian Fund is not an actual entity, so far as Plaintiff is aware. BVS, in said contract, represented that Praetorian Fund had $6 Billion (six billion dollars) under management, and would transfer $600 Million (six hundred million dollars) to Legends Securities in exchange for $16 Million (sixteen million dollars) of Facebook shares. (See Exhibit 34) This occurred well after BVS’s receipt of the so called “Inquiry Letter” from the SEC on 3 August 2011 and the “Fresh Subpoena” on 19 September 2011, and after commencement of GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum’s representation of Plaintiff, BVS, and TPGF in the SEC matter, per the 15 August 2011 wire to GKN for $25,000 sent by Plaintiff, and after the 22 August 2011 wire from Plaintiff to GKN for representation in the Argo/RVUE matter. BVS was never the Managing Director of an entity named “Praetorian Fund,” so far as Plaintiff is aware, and was never the manager of $6 Billion in assets. BVS’s continuing fraud schemes, even after being subject to SEC scrutiny, are further evidence of his ability to act with impunity because of his status as a protected professional confidential informant for the US government.
- During the very same time period that BVS was scamming Legends Securities, BVS – with the other Defendants’ knowledge – was also running scams on his good friend Jeffrey Chong. BVS stated to Chong, “I am catching some heat on funds timing re: partnership and going the next step for your 58mm [58 million dollars]. Any info that you can offer on that would make me and us look like we have our acts together – B.” (See Exhibit 35) This is in regards to the FBI storefront SAHN, which BVS and Carruthers shut down in early 2011, and which BVS, Carruthers and Lochrie continued to sell shares out of throughout BVS’s association with Plaintiff, and possibly afterwards as well. BVS scammed Chong out of $58 Million, unbeknownst to Plaintiff, in his and his associates’ ongoing efforts to prop up their SAHN operation. BVS, during this time period, lied to Plaintiff continually about paying out the $7.1 Million dividend owed to Plaintiff, which BVS had no intention of delivering. Instead, BVS intended to manufacture a case against Plaintiff, cause Plaintiff to be incarcerated for an extended time period, and get away with the SAHN fraud, with the help of his co-conspirators Lochrie, Carruthers, GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum. These issues and other issues related to the long-time FBI confidential informants, their government handlers, and their many fraud schemes in various countries will be addressed in the parallel class action involving hundreds, possibly thousands, of defrauded investors, including some nations’ Sovereign Wealth Funds.
- On 26 August 2011, Elizabeth Evans received a message from BVS saying, “Larry [Nusbaum] cannot do the work due to a conflict that he has on another matter. We will assign another attorney today.” The conflicted other matter cited was both the Argo/RVUE case in which Plaintiff was a client of GKN, and the SEC case in which BVS and Plaintiff were clients of GKN. BVS and Elizabeth Evans were shopping for attorneys in an effort to spin and twist another lawsuit against Plaintiff, involving RD Hubbard and Ed Burger, for which BVS and Elizabeth Evans were responsible. BVS further stated, “We [Nusbaum and BVS] will assign another attorney today.”
- BVS went on to tell Elizabeth Evans another lie, saying, “You know all of the attorneys that John [Mattera] paid [Nusbaum, Lieberman, Schoeppl, Ogier, O’Neal Webster, Chris Hagen] represented him. None of them dealt with me other than to approve document language.” BVS knew his statements to be completely false, as he spent months prior to this 26 August 2011 conversation using attorney Chris Hagen to ‘prove’ BVS’s fraudulent ownership of shares of Facebook and other companies, and to ‘prove’ BVS’s funds, sometimes in excess of $1 Billion (one billion dollars). BVS also knew that none of the attorneys paid by Plaintiff approved document language for TPGF, as it was BVS alone who controlled 100% of the functions of TPGF, including all document construction. BVS also repeatedly insisted upon doing the documents himself, in order to better conceal his ongoing frauds. Plaintiff was unaware of these frauds and BVS’s efforts to conceal them at the time, and only became aware of them in and around October 2015, when the evidence in Plaintiff’s criminal case was finally delivered to Plaintiff.
- Furthermore, Plaintiff was not in regular correspondence with Ogier’s Jonathan Mclean or with the daily minutiae of TPGF’s operations. All decisions and documents were made through BVS and his co-Manager John G. Hartley, who is a resident of Turks and Caicos and was ‘removed’ from TPGF in July 2011 in an effort to keep Hartley, also a professional CI, out of the impending SEC and criminal investigations. Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s offices were only involved with BVS temporarily, to support BVS and Hartley prior to the launch of TPGF and only until the Turks and Caicos Yacht Club offices were finished. When the T & C Yacht Club offices were ready, TPGF would cease using Plaintiff’s family offices in Pompano Beach, Florida and move to the new offices in Turks and Caicos. However, TPGF was never launched, and BVS never intended for TPGF to launch, as a true launch would have revealed BVS’s massive frauds.
- Kaplan’s response to the New York Bar is riddled with blatant lies and half-truths, just as the Defendants concocted, premeditated, and manufactured the criminal case against Plaintiff, who was BVS’s financier and benefactor in the TPGF venture and BVS’s victim in the ADHC and SAHN ventures. Kaplan made selective disclosures and omissions, hiding the truth as to Plaintiff’s status as a client of GKN.
Facts Relevant to the Argo/RVUE Matter and NY Bar Complaint
- In a 11 April 2016 letter to Kaplan, with CC: Ms. Nancy K. DeLeon, Departmental Disciplinary Committee, First Judicial Department, 61 Broadway, New York, New York 10006, Docket # 20160181, and in another letter dated 20 April 2011 to Ms. DeLeon, with CC: Kaplan, Plaintiff addressed several discrepancies and untruths in Kaplan’s response to the New York Bar (See Exhibit 36), which are also detailed below.
- Kaplan stated: “I have reviewed our firm’s records and respond to your letter by responding to “each allegation” as requested; Our firm has never represented Mr. Mattera [Plaintiff] individually nor has our firm represented either Mattera Asset Management, Inc. nor Rhino Island Capital, Inc.” In support of his statement, Kaplan failed to disclose to the New York Bar material facts that would show that Plaintiff was, indeed, a client of GKN as follows:
- A) Plaintiff on 8 December 2010 signed a retainer letter with GKN, which was not disclosed.
- B) Kaplan did include a copy of the first page of Plaintiff’s retainer letter, but substituted all subsequent pages with Marco Arese’s signed copy, in an attempt to claim that Plaintiff did not sign his letter. However, Plaintiff and Arese sent their retainer letters in separately, as Plaintiff lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Arese lives in Milan, Italy. Kaplan was aware of this fact, and the substitution is evident by the difference in the typeface from the first page – which is from Plaintiff’s signed copy – of the included retainer letter and all subsequent pages – which are from Arese’s signed copy.
- C) Plaintiff, as President of Rhino Island Capital Inc., was authorized per the 8 December 2010 retainer letter, per Nusbaum’s request and wire instructions, to wire transfer $45,000 on 22 August 2011 to GKN.
- D) Kaplan also did not admit to receiving the $45,000 wire with memo: “RVUE” from Plaintiff and immediately disbursing $19,826.65 of Plaintiff’s money, to pay for a balance that was due per Plaintiff’s agreement with Arese and Nusbaum. Kaplan stated the wire was from Rhino Island Capital Inc., when Kaplan, Nusbaum, and GKN well knew that the company was Plaintiff’s corporation, as Defendants sent Plaintiff the wire instructions via email, and as they had received the $25,000 wire to retain GKN in the SEC matter one week earlier on 15 August 2011. There could be no confusion as the $25,000 wire memo read: “Brad van Siclen and John Mattera.” So, even though the 22 August 2011 wire memo simply read “RVUE,” the Defendants had knowledge that Rhino Island Capital Inc., the remitter, was in fact John Mattera’s [Plaintiff’s] company paying legal bills at GKN.
- E) Ethically, simply talking to a person about a potential case is sufficient to merit a conflict of interest in the event that the same law firm represents a client against that person. In this case, the conflict is much more egregious, as Plaintiff not only communicated extensively with GKN, Nusbaum, and Kaplan, but was also a paying client in two separate matters and provided significant amounts of confidential and privileged information, yet GKN still represented BVS against Plaintiff.
- F) A copy of the $45,000 wire was attached in Kaplan’s response to the New York Bar, dated 22 August 2011, from Rhino Island Capital with memo: “RVUE.” Plaintiff is President and signatory of Rhino Island Capital, Inc. Plaintiff provided bank documents with signature card to the New York Bar. Plaintiff, as President of Rhino Island Capital Inc., authorized a wire, per Nusbaum’s and Kaplan’s requirements to represents TPGF, BVS, and Plaintiff in the SEC matter, as evidenced in writing on several methods of media on 13 August 2011, and confirmed on 16 August 2011. The $25,000 wire for the SEC matter was sent by Plaintiff on 15 August 2011, with memo: “Brad van Siclen and John Mattera.” Kaplan DID NOT include a copy of this wire in his response to the New York Bar (a lie by omission), in an attempt to conceal evidence in a formal New York Bar complaint.
- Kaplan stated: “In or around December, 2010 our Firm was approached by Marco Arese of Milan, Italy, who believed that the management of a Public Company that he previously invested in, engaged in fraudulent conduct to the detriment of the shareholders. The company was Argo Digital Solutions, Inc., trading symbol RVUE.”
- A) This is completely false and misleading, as BVS attended meetings with Plaintiff at Argo’s headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and witnessed firsthand the investment made by Plaintiff personally and through Mattera Asset Management Inc. BVS overheard and witnessed the underhanded and fraudulent behavior of Argo’s (and RVUE’s) Management and suggested GKN to Plaintiff in order to recoup Plaintiff’s losses. Plaintiff hosted a dinner in Boca Raton, Florida in November 2010 where in attendance was Plaintiff, Marco Arese, BVS, Jason Kates, David Loppert, and Richard Sullivan, who tried to come to a settlement prior to sending the matter to the attorneys. The attempt was unsuccessful, and in that first meeting between Plaintiff and Arese, it was agreed to align Plaintiff and Arese and take the matter to the next level. BVS was in attendance and was a witness to the meltdown of the meeting, and the next day suggested to Plaintiff that he should use GKN.
- B) Kaplan’s version to the New York Bar was a complete fabrication. Since Kaplan was willing to lie to the New York Bar, it leads one to wonder what else GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum have fabricated, and what is the truth.
- Kaplan stated: “Our Firm was introduced to Mr. Mattera by Mr. Arese as a prospective participant in a remedial action that was ultimately commenced as a derivative action against RVUE in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Then moved to Fort Lauderdale District Court).” The truth is as follows:
- A) Plaintiff was introduced to Nusbaum and Kaplan in November 2010, by BVS, who cited GKN as “The most connected SEC/DOJ law firm I have ever worked with,” and stated that he had “worked with [GKN] several times in the past.” BVS, the Managing Director of TPGF, told Plaintiff that he had worked extensively with GKN in the past, and bragged that GKN was called “The Most Feared Law Firm On Wall Street.”
- B) Plaintiff was asked by BVS on 1 December 2010, “Got your message [referring to the Argo/RVUE case]. Do we retain Larry [Nusbaum] or get him on a one-time fee? His retainer is $20k.” (See Exhibit 4) Thus, BVS introduced Plaintiff to GKN and served as liaison in the matter, was in touch with Nusbaum, and was asking for an agreement per Plaintiff’s instructions. That agreement was sent on 8 December 2010 and was executed by both Plaintiff and Arese, whom Plaintiff brought to GKN.
- C) Again, Kaplan included the first page of Plaintiff’s retainer letter, and swapped out the subsequent pages with Arese’s signed copy, in an attempt to claim that Plaintiff never signed his retainer, when in fact Plaintiff did.
- D) This is further evidenced on 15 December 2010 when Plaintiff texted BVS, “Marco and Jon [Marco Arese’s partner in Switzerland] took a call with Nusbaum yesterday [and] I will get updated today.” Meaning, as full partner with Arese and Jon in the potential lawsuit against Argo/RVUE, Plaintiff was informing BVS, who was introducer and liaison that Plaintiff would get an update from Arese and Jon to determine what the next steps would be. (See Exhibit 37)
- Kaplan stated: “A retainer agreement was prepared for Mssrs. Mattera and Arese to sign to retain our firm in connection with RVUE (The RVUE matter). Only Mr. Arese signed the Retainer Letter. Thereafter we believe that Mr. Arese and Mr. Mattera had their own discussions as to Mr. Arese’s displeasure with Mr. Mattera. Thereafter the firm had not contact with Mr. Mattera regarding the RVUE matter.”
- A) This is a complete fabrication, as Plaintiff and Arese had almost a full year after execution of the 8 December 2010 retainer agreement with GKN, as evidenced by dozens of media exhibits that have been provided and hundreds more ready to be provided to the Honorable Court. During 2010 and 2011, both Plaintiff and Arese met in Palm Beach, Florida and in Milan, Italy to move on the Argo/RVUE lawsuit and discuss other additional business.
- B) The Plaintiff’s agreement with Arese was for Arese to take care of the initial retainer fee (which retainer agreement was executed by both Mattera and Arese) by wiring to GKN $7,500 in December 2010, and $7,500 in January 2011, for a total of $15,000. The retainer agreement called for a $10,000 payment to retain GKN. It was agreed that Plaintiff would take care of the next payment.
- Kaplan stated: “In December 2010 and January 2011, our Firm received 2 payments totaling $15,000 from Mr. Arese in connection to the RVUE matter. Thereafter, the Firm had no contact with Mr. Mattera regarding the RVUE matter.”
- A) This lie to the New York Bar is proven false by multiple pieces of media. One in particular is dated 21 September 2011, where Plaintiff sent a text message to BVS saying, “Any news on the Argo [demand] letter?” BVS responded, “Larry [Nusbaum] speaks to you on it.” (See Exhibit 9) Plaintiff and Nusbaum then had a conversation about the demand letter and status of the Argo/RVUE case. This plainly establishes communication between Plaintiff and GKN, and the importance of obtaining the records that Plaintiff, as a client of GKN, had been asking for since October 2015. These records include phone records, emails, text messages, case notes in both the SEC and Argo/RVUE cases, monthly billing statements in both cases, and more. This was also during the time that GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum were representing Plaintiff, BVS, and TPGF in the SEC matter.
- Kaplan stated: “Our Firm received from Rhino Island Capital Inc. on August 22, 2011 a payment of $45,000. The actual funds transfer notice reflected that the $45,000 was a payment for the RVUE case.”
- A) Rhino Island Capital Inc. is owned by Mr. Mattera [Plaintiff], and he authorized the transfer after speaking to Arese, Nusbaum, and BVS, as the next payment was required to be made by Plaintiff per his agreement with Arese. Nusbaum was completely aware of this fact. Nusbaum sent wire instructions to Plaintiff, which Plaintiff printed and sent to BB&T Bank in Boca Raton with Plaintiff’s instructions to wire the $45,000 to GKN. (See Exhibit 8)
- Kaplan stated: “At the time the $45,000 payment was credited to the account our offices maintained for billing of the RVUE matter.” And, “at the time of receipt of the $45,000 there was a $19,826.65 balance due for work performed by our office on the RVUE matter.”
- A) GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum used Plaintiff’s wire to past-pay themselves as discussed and as agreed to by Plaintiff, Arese, and Nusbaum. It was Plaintiff’s obligation at the time to get the account updated and for a credit to be present, so as to allow GKN to continue with the Argo/RVUE case and to draft the Demand Letter on behalf of Plaintiff and Arese.
- Kaplan stated: “In September of 2011 Mr. Arese paid an additional $15,000 for the RVUE matter. Thereafter Mr. Arese paid our Firm through the resolution of the RVUE matter approximately $250,000.”
- A) As of September 2011, Plaintiff, as evidenced by his messages, asked for updates on the “Argo [Demand] Letter” from BVS, to which BVS responded “Larry [Nusbaum] speaks to you on it.” Plaintiff paid the $45,000 on the Argo/RVUE account on 22 August 2011 through his company Rhino Island Capital Inc.
- B) Once Plaintiff paid his $45,000 portion for GKN’s legal representation in the Argo/RVUE matter, it was then Arese’s turn to send any additional monies to get his portion close to what Plaintiff paid to GKN.
- C) Plaintiff paid $45,000 to GKN. Arese paid a total of $30,000 to GKN.
- D) For this August/September 2011 increase in fees, requested by Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum, Plaintiff were to receive an invoice for services to date and also the expected “Demand Letter” drafted by GKN. In the Demand Letter, GKN listed Mattera Asset Management Inc. as a client of GKN. Also listed as clients were several of Arese’s controlled companies: Caseville Investments LTD, MBC Investments SA, and Watkins International LTD. The Argo/RVUE Demand Letter was addressed to RVUE and demanded settlement, or a lawsuit would be filed.
- E) Kaplan once again LIED to the New York Bar and chose to selectively not disclose this Demand Letter, which was sent to both Arese and Plaintiff by Nusbaum, for the purpose of editing and commentary. Both Plaintiff and Arese made edits and commentary via email and calls to Nusbaum.
- Kaplan stated: “Prior to filing the complaint for Mr. Arese in the U.S. District Court for S.D.N.Y. there were various correspondences and negotiations with representatives of RVUE in an effort to resolve the RVUE matter.” And, “Such negotiations failed and a derivative complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court S.D.N.Y. on September 14, 2012 (Copy attached).” (See Exhibit 25)
- A) Plaintiff never saw what his good money had paid for until he received this copy of Kaplan’s response to the New York Bar, which came only after his three certified letters to GKN in 2015 went unanswered and Plaintiff was forced to filed the New York Bar complaint.
- B) Plaintiff was shocked that he was not included in the case, as it is contrary to what his effort and his money paid for in the Argo/RVUE matter: $45,000 sent to GKN by Plaintiff; $30,000 sent to GKN by Arese. Plaintiff was shocked that neither he nor his company was a party to the lawsuit or the settlement. Arese made money, as a paying client of GKN. GKN, Nusbaum, and Kaplan made money – approximately $25,000 in Attorneys’ fees and $75,000 in cost, plus the $250,000 carve-out from the settlement. And yet Plaintiff, also a paying client of GKN, received zero consideration for his money, and then Kaplan refused to acknowledge that Plaintiff was ever a client of GKN’s.
- C) It was upon receipt of Kaplan’s January 2016 response to the New York Bar that Plaintiff discovered that he’d been defrauded by GKN and his money stolen, and Plaintiff began digging further into the matter. Further investigation uncovered the fact that GKN, Plaintiff’s own paid law firm, represented BVS against Plaintiff in the criminal matter that resulted in Plaintiff’s wrongful conviction.
- D) Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum simply stole Plaintiff’s money, believing that because they set him up in the criminal matter with BVS that Plaintiff would have no way to either discover their malpractice nor pursue the matter. This motivation is further explained when it is considered that Defendant Nusbaum participated in BVS’s fraud scheme, assisting BVS with sourcing and selling Facebook shares. (See Exhibit 29) Despite being intricately involved in BVS’s frauds, Nusbaum and GKN later conspired and participated in the scheme to pin BVS’s crimes on Plaintiff in order to escape blame themselves.
- E) Kaplan himself has shown nothing but contempt for Plaintiff, who is a paying client of GKN. After repeated demand letters, sent certified by Plaintiff, and after responding to the New York Bar complaint with flagrant lies, Kaplan finally responded to further demand letters from Plaintiff. Kaplan’s responses, dated 28 March 2016 and 26 April 2016, were derogatory and threatening. (See Exhibit 38) Kaplan sent veiled insults about Plaintiff’s incarceration and included threats with the full knowledge that Kaplan was speaking as the Managing Member of “The Most Feared Law Firm on Wall Street.” Plaintiff was again baffled by Kaplan’s response, unable to fathom why such behavior could be possible from his own law firm, when there is ample evidence proving Kaplan’s false claims to the contrary. It was only after concerted investigation into the matter that Plaintiff discovered the damning and egregious crimes committed by GKN against Plaintiff.
- Kaplan stated to the New York Bar: “Mr. Mattera’s assertion that our Firm received a wire from him and/or other payment from him to pay for representation of him and/or Bradford van Siclen is factually erroneous.”
- A) This is another complete LIE to the New York Bar, as evidenced by the 15 August 2011 wire transfer to GKN’s bank account: #7923154285, Gusrae, Kaplan, Bruno, Nusbaum PLLC, 120 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005; at TD Bank at 2 Wall Street, which wire transfer’s memo states clearly: “Brad van Siclen and John Mattera.” (See Exhibit 2) Kaplan failed to include this wire confirmation to the New York Bar, misleading the Bar.
- B) Plaintiff has presented several pieces of media regarding this matter and confirming he is a client of GKN, including but not limited to Exhibits 23 (in which BVS states that he only wishes to speak to Plaintiff until he Larry [Nusbaum] and Marty [Kaplan] are retained by Plaintiff), 24 (in which Plaintiff confirms sending $25,000 to Larry Nusbaum), and 32 (in which BVS updates Plaintiff on Marty Kaplan’s assessment of the SEC matter and first begins requesting Facebook proofs).
- C) Kaplan’s repeated denials that Plaintiff was a client of GKN, and repeated denials that GKN had further contact with Plaintiff, are proven false by a 15 August 2011 text message from BVS to Plaintiff immediately after the $25,000 wire was sent to GKN. In the text message, BVS asks Plaintiff to join Kaplan and Nusbaum on a conference call, and to call (212) 269-1400. GKN’s phone number, listed on their letterhead, is (212) 269-1400. (See Exhibit 39)
- D) Over the next two months, constant calls, texts, and emails were made to the Defendants and received from the Defendants regarding this SEC matter. GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum chose to represent BVS against Plaintiff, their own client, in the criminal matter that resulted in Plaintiff’s wrongful incarceration. As a result of Defendants’ conspiracy, BVS collaborated with the Prosecution as a confidential informant, used the privileged confidential information gathered by GKN from Plaintiff, their client, and manufactured a case against Plaintiff.
- Kaplan stated: “While it is true that for a period of time our offices represented Brad van Siclen in a matter other than the RVUE matter, we were paid by Mr. Van Siclen and not Mr. Mattera. A copy of the payment from Mr. Van Siclen is attached.”
- A) Kaplan once again is LYING to the New York Bar, as not only did he not disclose the first $25,000 wire sent to the firm by Plaintiff on 15 August 2011 with memo: “Brad van Siclen and John Mattera,” but also he claims that BVS’s cashier’s check payment was the sole payment in the SEC matter. This claim is proven false by several media exhibits provided to this Honorable Court, including Exhibit 2, Exhibit 23, and Exhibit 24.
- B) Defendants clearly foresaw a need to obfuscate their involvement with Plaintiff, as evidenced by the Exhibits 26, 27, and 28, wherein BVS sent Plaintiff a text saying, “Fresh subpoena just arrived from the SEC. Larry a bit freaked. We need to get him another $25k ASAP.” (See Exhibit 26) The next day, 20 September 2011, Plaintiff asked BVS “How much is due Larry [Nusbaum]?” BVS replied “$25k.” (See Exhibit 27) And the next day, after speaking to Nusbaum and realizing the need for future obfuscation, BVS sent Plaintiff a text saying, “My thinking is you should send [the money] to me, and I send to Larry [Nusbaum], to keep transaction out of line if [sic] fire.” (See Exhibit 28) Plaintiff sent BVS $50,000 for future payments to GKN in the SEC/TPGF matter, and seven days later on 28 September 2011 BVS paid GKN $25,000 via cashier’s check (See Exhibit 30), which was the second time GKN was paid by Plaintiff in the SEC/TPGF matter, and the third time Plaintiff had paid GKN counting the $45,000 in the Argo/RVUE matter. It was this cashier’s check from BVS, which was Plaintiff’s money, that Kaplan informed the New York Bar about, without disclosing the other two payments made by Plaintiff to GKN prior to that payment, which is a lie by omission.
Summarized History of Bradford van Siclen
- Plaintiff’s first involvement with the U.S. government sponsored fraudsters and CI was in late 2005/early 2006 via SinoFresh. SinoFresh involved David Otto (hereinafter referred to as “Otto”) of The Otto Law Group, Andrew Badolato (hereinafter referred to as “Badolato”), and Steve Bannon, who is now President Donald J. Trump’s Chief of Strategy.
- The owner of SinoFresh, Charlie Fust, Plaintiff, and SinoFresh’s investors were scammed by Badolato and Otto. The company’s shares were manipulated in a pump and dump scheme. There was a battle for control of the company between Charlie Fust, Badolato, and Steve Bannon. SinoFresh collapsed. Plaintiff thought his losses in the investment to be nothing more than bad luck.
- Concurrently with SinoFresh’s troubles, Otto was involved in the final stages of a massive pump and dump scam involving Nannaco Inc., Amenni LLC, Reality Wireless Networks Inc., Arabian Recab for Trading Corp LLC, Bartholomew International Investments Limited, and several other companies. Bradford van Siclen was an officer of Bartholomew International Investments Limited, and of Arabian Recab for Trading Corp LLC. Todd van Siclen, BVS’s brother, worked at The Otto Law Group, who acted as legal counsel and/or registered agent for most of the companies involved in the pump and dump. David Carruthers was President of Arabian Recab for Trading Corp LLC. Patrick J. Lochrie was CEO of Amenni LLC and an officer of Arabian Recab for Trading Corp LLC. David Otto and The Otto Law Group were legal counsel and/or Secretary for most companies involved in the pump and dump. Seth Elliot was a consultant working for Bartholomew International Investments Limited, and hired by Nannaco Inc. Stephen Careaga was CEO of Nannaco, CEO of Reality Wireless Networks Inc., and an officer of several other companies involved in the pump and dump. John G. Hartley was teamed with Bartholomew International Investments Limited, and hired by Nannaco Inc.
- Nannaco Inc., Amenni LLC, Reality Wireless Networks Inc., Arabian Recab for Trading Corp LLC, and Bartholomew International Investments Limited engaged in a massive pump and dump campaign for tens of millions of dollars, then performed a series of mergers, reverse mergers, and asset sales to shuffle the records around, change names, and obfuscate their fraudulent activities.
- Concurrently with the Nannaco et al fraud scam (2002-2006), Patrick J. Lochrie was being used as a paid confidential informant by FBI Special Agent John Edward Osa (aka John Firo, aka John Vega, aka Thomas V. Faro, aka ad nauseum), by FBI Special Agent Ross Gaffney, and by FBI Special Agent Mike Patkus. Lochrie was involved in a badly botched entrapment scheme targeting Arkansas businessman James W. Bolt and his colleagues at Shimoda-Atlantic Oncology. In the course of the reverse sting, Osa, Gaffney, and Lochrie introduced Bolt to a fake “Saudi sheikh” to complete the sting.
- As a result of the botched reverse sting of Mr. Bolt and a related botched attempt at the entrapment of New Mexico’s State Treasurer, FBI Special Agent Ross Gaffney was disgraced and fired from the FBI. Gaffney moved on to open several other businesses involved in targeting and tearing down innocent victims, including Gaffney, Gallagher, and Phillip LLC, his consulting firm.
- Also as a result of the badly botched reverse sting, Talon Holdings (the FBI-run brokerage firm used in both botched stings), Gaffney, Osa, Patkus, and Lochrie were sued by Shimoda Atlantic, James W. Bolt, and Mr. Bolt’s colleagues. Osa, Patkus, Gaffney, the fake sheikh and Talon Holdings were judged exempt from the suit because of their qualified immunity as government law enforcement employees, all associated with the FBI. Patrick J. Lochrie claimed immunity as well, under the Westfall Act, and his status as a paid government employee was confirmed. In the suit, Lochrie revealed that his listed addresses: 110 East Broward Blvd, Suit 1700, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 and 1314 East Las Olas Blvd, #222, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301, were in fact FBI mail drops for FBI-owned and FBI-operated businesses used in FBI investigations. The mailboxes at said addresses were rented to Patrick J. Lochrie, and the mail was collected by FBI agents.
- Also in 2006, Lochrie was used as a paid confidential informant against several South Florida government officials, most notably Beverly Gallagher, Fitzroy Salesman, and Josephus Eggelletion.
- In Eggelletion’s case, Lochrie and Osa, as well as other FBI agents, represented that they needed to move almost $1 Million out of the country, and admitted to Eggelletion that the money was obtained by stock fraud. The “stock fraud” money was in fact obtained in the massive pump and dump scheme being run by the crew of professional FBI CI’s using Nannaco et al, stealing tens of millions of dollars from unsuspecting investors in the U.S. and other countries. This is a prime example of Lochrie and the FBI justifying the illegal activities committed by their team of confidential informants by using their illegal gains to entrap targets in unrelated investigations.
- After the SinoFresh and Nannaco scams, Badolato and Otto again pitched Plaintiff on a company: Industrial Biotech (IBOT). IBOT’s shares were pumped and dumped after Plaintiff’s investment, illegally enriching Badolato and Otto.
- Also in 2007 and 2008, Plaintiff was introduced to Bradford van Siclen and Seth Elliot. BVS and Seth Elliot pitched Plaintiff on American Diversified Holdings Corp (ADHC). Plaintiff invested $2 Million (two million dollars). Within 90 days, ADHC’s stock was pumped and dumped, illegally enriching ADHC’s owners Ernest Remo and Pat Rost, as well as BVS and Elliot.
- As a result of this loss, Plaintiff threw BVS out of his life. Elliot split with BVS, apologized profusely to Plaintiff, and was no longer involved with BVS’s scams so far as Plaintiff has knowledge. Elliot was later sued by the SEC for illegal 504 activities.
- In 2009, while Todd van Siclen and Otto were being investigated by the SEC for yet another pump and dump, this time involving MitoPharm Inc., BVS cold-called Plaintiff. “Don’t hang up!” said BVS. “I have control of ADHC now and can get your money back.” The true motives for BVS’s call were to ‘work off’ BVS’s brother’s problems with the SEC and to accomplish a much larger scam against Plaintiff, greatly and illegally enriching BVS and many of BVS’s associates in the process.
- In what Plaintiff calls “The worst mistake of my life,” Plaintiff allowed BVS back into his life. BVS demonstrated his control of ADHC to Plaintiff’s satisfaction, and BVS moves quickly to pitching Plaintiff on another company.
- In 2009, BVS pitched Plaintiff on Saudi American Holdings Corporation (SAHN). SAHN was previously Recab International, the result of a merger between Reality Wireless Networks Inc. and Arabian Recab for Trading Corp LLC. SAHN’s address was 110 East Broward Blvd, Suite 1700, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. SAHN was an FBI storefront, unbeknownst to Plaintiff at the time.
- SAHN’s CEO, and the CEO of all of SAHN’s predecessor companies, was Stephen Careaga. Stephen Careaga was previously the founder and President of Firefighters National Trust, a charity which was suspiciously set up one month before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Firefighters National Trust was used by Careaga and his associates to steal millions of dollars of donations in the wake of 9/11. Firefighters National Trust’s Secretary was David Martin Otto.
- SAHN’s President was David Carruthers. BVS was CFO and Senior VP. Also listed on SAHN’s documents was Director and Senior Vice President Abdullah Al-Bajadi Al-Shahrani (sometimes alternately spelled Al-Shirhanni on the very same page of corporate filings) of Saudi Arabia. Patrick J. Lochrie is a significant shareholder in SAHN, and acted as the liaison between the team of professional confidential informants and their FBI handlers: FBI Special Agent John Edward Osa and disgraced former FBI Special Agent Ross Gaffney. Another significant shareholder and officer was one Hernando Perez, who was involved with the company and others used by the team of professional CI’s since at least the Nannaco et al pump and dumps. A company called Kaleej Group Gmbh is also a significant shareholder, which company consists solely of a mailbox in the Bahamas, and is the vehicle through which FBI Special Agent John Edward Osa and disgraced former FBI Special Agent Ross Gaffney launder SAHN’s illegal proceeds for their own illegal enrichment.
- In 2007 and 2008, BVS and Carruthers defrauded Trident Aerospace and its owner Matt Marsenison out of a large sum of money and, for a time, his entire company. They accomplished this fraud by inventing another, or possible the same one used in James Bolt’s case, “Saudi sheikh.” Their story was that SAHN was being capitalized by said “sheikh” with approximately $76.6 Million (seventy six million, six hundred thousand dollars) up front, with upwards of $200 Million (two hundred million dollars) to follow. They showed Marsenison a photo of Patrick J. Lochrie shaking hands with the “sheikh” and being given a check for around $76.6 Million. Marsenison agreed to sell Trident to SAHN in return for stock in SAHN and cash to be paid at a later date, when the “sheikh’s” money came through.
- Marsenison paid all the bills and salaries for SAHN for over a year, and was forced to pass up on multiple legitimate purchase offers for Trident Aerospace, causing Marsenison tens of millions of dollars in damages. In 2008/2009, his patience exhausted, Marsenison took legal action and wrestled control of Trident Aerospace away from SAHN. As this took place in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, BVS, Carruthers, Lochrie, Todd van Siclen, Otto, Careaga, and their FBI handlers cost Marsenison an enormous amount in irreparable damages.
- With no income source left for the SAHN crew since Marsenison stopped paying their bills, they moved on to a new target. BVS’s cold-call to Plaintiff, claiming BVS had control of ADHC and could recoup Plaintiff’s losses, was the first step in the new scam. BVS quickly pitched Plaintiff on SAHN in 2009. BVS provided fraudulent Edgar filings, complete with fraudulent financial statements allegedly prepared by KPMG Saudi Arabia, which claimed Trident Aerospace and all its assets as a current wholly owned subsidiary of SAHN, as well as many millions in assets.
- Included with said fraudulent Edgar filings was a letter from BVS and Carruthers addressed to Lochrie, asking him to complete the fake sheikh deal in person. Soon after, BVS showed Plaintiff a photo of Lochrie shaking hands with the “sheikh” and receiving a check worth about $76.6 Million – likely the same photo shown to Marsenison.
- With the fraudulent evidence of the Edgar filings and the fake sheikh, Plaintiff agreed to invest in SAHN, to bring in 200+ more investors, and to pay all of SAHN’s expenses and salaries for a period of time. Plaintiff wired millions of dollars of his own money to BVS, Carruthers, and Lochrie to purchase their shares of SAHN, and brought in the promised investors.
- Because SAHN was an FBI storefront and was a fraudulent enterprise from the very beginning, all of the money put into it was stolen to illegally enrich BVS, Carruthers, Careaga, Lochrie, Osa, Gaffney, Otto, Todd van Siclen, and the FBI, all unbeknownst to Plaintiff.
- Soon after convincing Plaintiff to invest in SAHN, BVS pitched Plaintiff an idea to start a hedge fund for promising pre-initial public offering (pre-IPO) companies. BVS explained a tactic recently made famous by Goldman Sachs, using Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) LLC’s to circumvent the SEC’s 300-investor limit on private funds.
- Plaintiff had no experience with such hedge fund structures or SPV, but BVS boasted of 15+ years experience with hedge funds, and the tactic was legal and legitimate. A hedge fund structured in such a way and managed properly would make its owners billionaires.
- Plaintiff agreed to pay for the startup costs of the fund, and was directed by BVS in all matters related to the fund. BVS was named Managing Director of the fund. The fund was named The Praetorian Global Fund, LLC (TPGF). TPGF had several subsidiary SPV’s, named G-Power I through XII, and also Wilshire Capital Partners LLC.
- Plaintiff had no official position in TPGF, was not a manager, and was only nominally associated with TPGF by being Chairman of the Advisory Board – literally an informal board whose purpose was to give advice, which was set up at BVS’s insistence after Plaintiff declined a more formal role.
- Plaintiff’s role with TPGF was as financier, angel investor, and to give advice. Plaintiff had no decision-making power in regards to TPGF, nor was Plaintiff involved in the daily minutiae of TPGF, nor did Plaintiff ever create documents for TPGF. All such authority rested with BVS, the Managing Director, and for a limited time with John G. Hartley, BVS’s co-Director.
- Plaintiff agreed to pay salaries for BVS and BVS’s old friend and co-Director John G. Hartley. Plaintiff paid any and all expenses related to TPGF, which BVS presented to Plaintiff. Plaintiff planned to recoup his expenses after TPGF launched by taking a percentage of TPGF’s management fees. But TPGF never launched, and BVS never intended for TPGF to launch, as it was a scam on Plaintiff from the beginning.
- BVS requested to use the services of Plaintiff’s friend and partner Johnny Ray Arnold and his company First American Service Transmittals (FAST) for escrow until Plaintiff’s Geneva bank, Pictet & Cie, took over the role as escrow agent. Plaintiff agreed to the arrangement which was supposed to be temporary, and all escrow decisions related to TPGF were managed exclusively by BVS, not by Plaintiff as the later government press releases alleged. Plaintiff cannot even retrieve any documents on TPGF from the Licensure Department of BVI, KPMG BVI, Cayman, or anywhere else, as he was not an officer, Director, or shareholder of TPGF.
- As part of BVS’s scam against Plaintiff, BVS pitched Plaintiff on a sale of Ischian Holdings LTD (Ischian), which belonged to Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s mother, Ann Mattera. BVS’s reasoning was ostensibly to use Ischian as a way to keep the money TPGF would ostensibly make out of the hands of BVS’s wife, whom BVS was divorcing. Also, BVS explained that he would add Ischian’s assets to TPGF’s capitalization, including 11 million shares in SAHN at almost $2 per share, for which Plaintiff was owed dividends totaling $7.1 Million. Ischian also held several other companies’ shares, and carried approximately $21 Million in debt to Plaintiff and Ann Mattera.
- Plaintiff at first saw no need to sell Ischian, as opposed to simply allowing BVS to establish a new holding company, but BVS convinced Plaintiff by promising to pay Ischian’s debt to Plaintiff and Ann Mattera with the proceeds from TPGF.
- Plaintiff agreed to the sale of Ischian with these terms, and BVS purchased Ischian with a promissory note. One of the assets in Ischian was an account payable from Avondale Group. As the new owner, BVS was responsible for claiming those assets, and acknowledged his responsibility to Plaintiff at the time of the sale.
- Throughout the entire period (2007-2011) of BVS’s involvement with Plaintiff, BVS was in regular contact with Carruthers and Lochrie, ostensibly to manage SAHN, but in fact to coordinate their fraud schemes against Plaintiff and hundreds of other investors in multiple countries, and to coordinate the eventual criminal case manufactured against Plaintiff, which BVS was intentionally building.
- BVS maintained contact with Lochrie – a notorious professional confidential informant for the FBI and whom has been known to boast about being “a dealmaker for the FBI and U.S. Treasury Department,” via text, Skype, phone calls, other electronic means, and via in-person meetings in London and elsewhere. All such communications were omitted from the government’s disclosures to Plaintiff in his civil and criminal cases, and are in a current request for Brady v. Maryland information in Plaintiff’s Motion to Vacate or Reduce Sentence for government corruption, prosecutorial misconduct, and more reasons.
- TPGF was licensed as a hedge fund in December 2010, and the G-Power LLC’s established throughout 2010-2011, with BVS as Managing Director of everything. John G. Hartley acted as co-Manager of TPGF until Hartley’s contentious removal in July 2011. There were no other officers or Directors. BVS requested Plaintiff set up an “Advisory Board” for TPGF, along with Plaintiff’s friend Fabio Cacciatore and a long-time associate of BVS: Robert Haveman. Haveman is now imprisoned for fraud, for embezzling from his boss Elsa D. Prince-Broekheusen, mother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Plaintiff was named Chairman of this “Advisory Board.”
- TPGF was intended to invest in promising pre-IPO companies such as Fisker Automotive Group, Facebook, Groupon, Bloom Energy, and Zynga, of which Fisker was the vast majority of TPGF’s holdings – once again, contrary to the government’s later press releases which never even mentioned Fisker.
- Plaintiff wired $3.25 Million to Fisker’s escrow, Orrick in Menlo Park, CA for Preferred Series B shares. Plaintiff took the initiative to acquire the Fisker shares, as he was personal friends with Henrik Fisker. Per Plaintiff’s agreement with BVS, the Fisker shares were deposited into Wilshire Capital Partners LLC (Wilshire), of which BVS was Managing Director.
- BVS was supposed to, and assured Plaintiff that he did, sign over all of Wilshire’s assets to G-Power II for TPGF to legitimately trade in. BVS went so far as to draft (fraudulent) documents showing the G-Power II owned the Fisker shares. In fact, BVS never transferred Wilshire’s assets to G-Power II, which means BVS was illegally trading through G-Power II with zero actual assets in it, even though the Fisker shares actually did exist. All of BVS’s illegal activity was committed unbeknownst to Plaintiff.
- BVS engaged in a practice of hiring past associates of his, whom he knew to be unlicensed with the SEC, as brokers for TPGF. The brokers’ unlicensed status was unknown to Plaintiff, who was not involved in the hiring process. BVS presented all of the brokers’ expenses and commissions to Plaintiff, which Plaintiff paid at once, further spreading the proceeds of BVS’s fraud to his unlicensed broker friends.
- Also, any legitimate licensed broker interested in TPGF would be treated by BVS to a months-long waiting game, then finally subjected to angry abuse, via verbal and electronic means, by BVS. The legitimate licensed brokers were then denied association with TPGF. BVS behaved in such a way because he was fully aware of his own frauds and feared discovery by any legitimate broker, who would see through BVS’s con. This is most fully documented in the case of Greg Osbourne of Middlebury Group.
- BVS constantly assured Plaintiff that he was in possession of Facebook, Groupon, Zynga, and Bloom Energy stock. BVS drafted documents to back up his claims. BVS assured all potential investors, and the defrauded clients of his unlicensed brokers, that TPGF was in possession of said stock. BVS drafted, or had drafted, fraudulent financial audits which he claimed were prepared by KPMG, and distributed said financial statements to brokers and investors, most notably Marisa Light Cain, who was robbed by BVS and BVS’s unlicensed brokers of her entire retirement and her children’s’ college funds. Ms. Cain was later used by the government against Plaintiff, in which she spoke at Plaintiff’s sentencing and said ‘You should be ashamed of yourself. You duped these good brokers and even sent me a fake KPMG financial statement.’ (Paraphrased). In fact, Plaintiff was never involved in the drafting of documents or financial statement for TPGF or its brokers, and he was a victim of BVS’s fraud just as Ms. Cain and the other investors were.
- In fact, BVS and TPGF never possessed Facebook, Groupon, Bloom Energy, or Zynga stock, and never intended to obtain the stock, as he never intended TPGF to launch, and was only interested in a short-term profit from his fraud and in manufacturing a case against Plaintiff. Despite this fact, BVS spent many months selling Facebook and other stock, sometimes with the assistance of Larry Nusbaum.
- In December 2010, and again in early 2011, BVS and Elizabeth Evans sold approximately 2.25 million Fisker Series A Preferred shares to RD Hubbard, Ed Burger, and their associates. This sale was facilitated via two of Ms. Evans’s LLC’s: Praefectus, and Verde Capital. This was illegal, as BVS knew that there were no Series A shares in his possession, only Series B. BVS concealed his con for several weeks, until Hubbard and Burger became exhausted with BVS’s lies and brought a lawsuit against BVS, John G. Hartley, Plaintiff, and TPGF in August 2011.
- In 2010, BVS became aware of Plaintiff’s investment in, and difficulties with, Argo Digital Solutions Inc., which merged with a public shell RVUE, and bilked its investors. BVS referred Plaintiff to Gusrae, Kaplan, Nusbaum PLLC (GKN). BVS told Plaintiff that BVS had used GKN in the past, and that GKN had many close connections with the SEC and the DOJ.
- Plaintiff and Marco Arese, also involved in Argo/RVUE, retained GKN on 8 December 2010. Arese paid $15,000 retainer and fees in January 2011. Then Plaintiff wired $45,000 to GKN on 22 August 2011, which GKN immediately spent on $19,826.65 pending expenses related to the Argo/RVUE matter. Arese wired another $15,000 payment in September 2011, for a total of $45,000 from Plaintiff and $30,000 from Arese.
- In September 2011, GKN sent a draft of the Argo/RVUE demand letter to Plaintiff and Arese. In the demand letter, Mattera Asset Management was named as a client of GKN. Plaintiff and Arese approved the letter. As Plaintiff was indicted for BVS’s fraud schemes with TPGF in November 2011, Plaintiff was unaware of further developments in the Argo/RVUE matter until a much later date.
- On 3 August 2011, BVS told Plaintiff that BVS had received a letter of inquiry from the SEC about TPGF. This coincided with BVS’s clandestine meeting with Patrick J. Lochrie in London’s Heathrow airport. Plaintiff, still operating under the belief that TPGF was a legitimate business, was not concerned. He advised BVS to simply show the SEC the books for TPGF, and the matter would be resolved. BVS, knowing of his own fraud and being coached by Lochrie and GKN, expressed urgent concern. BVS advised Plaintiff to engage GKN on the SEC matter as well.
- On 15 August 2011, Plaintiff wired $25,000 to GKN with the memo: Brad van Siclen and John Mattera.” That very same day, GKN began spending that money in the SEC matter, and were immediately in contact with Plaintiff to gather information pertaining to the matter.
- BVS requested additional money from Plaintiff, for future legal expenses to be paid at an undetermined date. Plaintiff sent BVS another $50,000 on 21 September 2011. On 28 September 2011, BVS paid GKN another $25,000 by cashier’s check – more than a month after Plaintiff’s payment for the SEC matter and GKN’s beginning work on the case, and more than nine months after Plaintiff first retained GKN in the Argo/RVUE matter.
- On 26 August 2011, Lawrence Nusbaum of GKN was in contact with RD Hubbard and Ed Burger regarding their lawsuit against BVS, Hartley, Plaintiff, and TPGF. Nusbaum and Martin Kaplan of GKN were in contact with Plaintiff regarding the SEC matter since 15 August 2011 – both more than a month before BVS’s payment to GKN using Plaintiff’s money.
- In a text message dated 11 August 2011 between BVS and Anthony DiGiovanni Jr., an unlicensed broker for TPGF hired by BVS and a long-time personal friend of BVS, BVS expressed dismay. “I have done nothing wrong,” said BVS to his unlicensed broker whom he’d illegally enriched through his fraudulent activity at TPGF. Anthony DiGiovanni Jr. replied, “Good news is we can spin it and blame john [Mattera] and publicly remove him lol.”
- In September 2011, John G. Hartley forwarded a message, from BVS, to Plaintiff. The message said, “The DOJ and the SEC want Mattera and Johnny Ray [Arnold]. Don'[t worry, I’m guiding them away from you.” Hartley sent the message to Plaintiff as a heads-up about BVS’s intentions. Hartley’s actions might be explained because Hartley suspected BVS was going to crucify Hartley in the RD Hubbard and Ed Burger lawsuit, which BVS did in fact do, leaving Hartley with a $15 Million judgment against him, and unable to enter the U.S.
- On 17 November 2011, Plaintiff was arrested by FBI and IRS agents from BVS’s north New Jersey area. They arrested Plaintiff in his Fort Lauderdale, FL home, and demanded to know who owned the house and everything in it, in an attempt to seize Plaintiff’s assets.
- In the legal proceedings that followed, GKN represented BVS against Plaintiff, in a flagrant conflict of interest, as Plaintiff was a paying client of GKN in two separate cases, and had literally paid GKN for the work they were performing against Plaintiff.
- GKN used their communications with Plaintiff and the information gathered while Plaintiff was their client to help manufacture a case against Plaintiff and assist BVS in escaping justice for BVS’s crimes.
- As a result of BVS’s fraudulent activities and fraudulent testimony against Plaintiff, as well as a threat from the Government to prosecute Plaintiff’s wife and ailing 73 year old mother, Plaintiff entered a coerced plea of guilty in June 2013, for crimes of which Plaintiff was factually innocent. Plaintiff was ordered to pay $13.5 Million in restitution, which he paid immediately.
- In 2014, after Plaintiff’s conviction and sentence to prison, GKN settled the Argo/RVUE matter for $3 Million (three million dollars) in stock. GKN took $250,000 of the settlement and kept the $45,000 Plaintiff paid in 2011 for the Argo/RVUE matter. But GKN had removed Mattera Asset Management from the settlement. Plaintiff got zero consideration for his money or for bringing the case to GKN, meaning GKN stole Plaintiff’s money. Nor did GKN notify Plaintiff about the settlement, how Plaintiff’s money had been spent, or anything, ever since Plaintiff’s 2011 indictment.
- In late 2015, after performing an audit of his companies, Plaintiff became aware of the settlement of the Argo/RVUE matter and the theft of his money by GKN. On 18 October 2015, Plaintiff sent a letter to GKN requesting the return of Plaintiff’s money. GKN did not respond.
- Repeated requests in November 2015 also went unanswered by GKN.
- In January 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint with the New York Bar. GKN’s Managing Member Martin Kaplan responded to the Bar complaint. Kaplan denied the fact that Plaintiff was ever a client of GKN, omitted the demand letter to Argo/RVUE listing Mattera Asset Management as a client, refused to acknowledge that the $45,000 wire from Plaintiff through Plaintiff’s company Rhino Island Capital Inc. was in fact from Plaintiff, purposefully omitted the $25,000 15 August 2011 wire from Plaintiff with memo: Brad van Siclen and John Mattera for the SEC matter, and Kaplan filled his filed response to the New York Bar with lies and half truths. Kaplan furthered his lies to the New York Bar by providing a copy of BVS’s $25,000 cashier’s check paid on 28 September 2011, using Plaintiff’s money. Kaplan claimed, falsely, that BVS’s $25,000 cashier’s check was the only payment made on the SEC case, and refused to acknowledge the fact that BVS’s payment was made with Plaintiff’s money.
- The New York Bar accepted Kaplan’s lies and closed the matter. Plaintiff appealed the closure. The Bar made it clear to Plaintiff that to recover Plaintiff’s money damages, Plaintiff must file a civil complaint.
- Plaintiff sent repeated demand letters to GKN, demanding all records pertaining to Plaintiff’s involvement with GKN.
- GKN responded only twice to Plaintiff. On 28 March 2016, Kaplan responded to Plaintiff, rejecting his demands and threatening him with “repercussions adverse to [Plaintiff’s] interests.” On 26 April 2016, Kaplan again rejected Plaintiff’s demands, stated that Kaplan intended to not even read Plaintiff’s correspondence, and included a series of veiled insults about Plaintiff’s incarceration, which GKN had a significant hand in causing.
- In 2016, Plaintiff became aware of GKN’s involvement with BVS and their representation of BVS against Plaintiff, a flagrant conflict of interest which GKN would certainly take pains to not allow to come to light, explaining their refusal to cooperate with Plaintiff’s demands. Plaintiff became determined to seek civil suit against GKN, Kaplan, Nusbaum, BVS, and Inga van Siclen.
- In the process of assembling evidence for this civil suit, Plaintiff discovered that Defendant Nusbaum was actively engaged in BVS’s fraudulent schemes involving Facebook shares, participating in the sourcing and sale of Facebook stock at least as early as April 2011. This revelation helps to further explain why GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum have been so eager to disassociate themselves from Plaintiff, their own client whom they helped cause to be incarcerated, as the fact that Nusbaum participated in the fraud schemes of BVS – a professional government confidential informant and international fraudster – would have certainly ruined GKN. Thus, Kaplan, Nusbaum, and GKN conspired with BVS to help BVS and Lochrie manufacture a criminal case against Plaintiff and cause Plaintiff to be incarcerated in an effort to keep Plaintiff from discovering and revealing their crimes.
Count I – Legal Malpractice (Ethical Violations)
- Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges the allegations set forth in Paragraph 1 through Paragraph 156, as if fully set forth herein.
- Plaintiff is a client of Defendant law firm, GKN, as evidenced by Plaintiff’s signed retainer agreement, payment of $25,000 and $45,000 to GKN for attorney fees and costs, the payment of $50,000 to co-defendant BVS to pay GKN, and Plaintiff’s full and intimate cooperation with GKN as evidenced by numerous text messages and other actions displaying Plaintiff’s cooperation as a client in both represented matters.
- Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum were under a duty to abide by all rules of professional conduct of the Rules regulating the Florida and New York Bar Associations with respect to representing Plaintiff. Defendants wholly failed and refused to abide by these rules to the detriment and severe consequences, both civil and criminal, suffered by Plaintiff. To wit, Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum are the direct and proximate cause of same.
- Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum fully failed to represent or acknowledge Plaintiff as a client in the SEC civil inquiry against The Praetorian Global Fund LTD, and the securities derivative lawsuit against Argo Digital Solutions Inc and RVUE Inc, choosing instead to represent Plaintiff’s associate, BVS, in the SEC civil inquiry which later resulted in a criminal prosecution of both Plaintiff and BVS. Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum also chose to represent Plaintiff’s business associate, Marco Arese, in the Argo/RVUE litigation wherein Plaintiff’s company, Mattera Asset Management, was excluded and suffered substantial losses.
- Defendants went further to represent Plaintiff’s co-defendant, BVS, in a criminal indictment and to conspire with BVS, a paid US government confidential informant, to fabricate a criminal case against Plaintiff.
- Defendants violated numerous Rules of Professional Conduct regulating the Florida and New York Bars, including but not limited to the following:
- A) Rule 4-1.2 – Objective and Scope of Representation. Rule 4-1.2(a) – Lawyer To Abide By Client’s Decisions. Defendants never abided by Plaintiff’s decisions nor consulted with him as to his representation. Rule 4-1.2(c) – Plaintiff never gave written consent to defendants to limit the objectives and scope of his representation. Rule 4-1.2(d) Criminal or Fraudulent Conduct. Defendants assisted Plaintiff’s co-defendant, BVS, to engage in criminal and fraudulent conduct targeting Plaintiff and fabricating a case against him.
- B) Rule 4-1.4 – Communication. Rule 4-1.4(a) – Informing Client of Status of Representation. Rule 4-1.4(a)(1) – Defendants never informed Plaintiff as to the means to accomplish his objectives. Rule 4-1.4(a)(3) and (4) – Defendants never kept Plaintiff reasonably informed about the status of his case nor answered any reasonable requests made to them by Plaintiff. Rule 4-1.4(b) Defendants never explained matters to Plaintiff to permit him to make informed decisions regarding his representation.
- C) Rule 4-1.6(a) – Defendants obtained Plaintiff’s confidential and personal information, under the guise of representing Plaintiff, without Plaintiff’s consent to use Plaintiff’s information against Plaintiff, and Defendants used same to fabricate a criminal case against Plaintiff to the benefit of Defendant BVS, an associate of Plaintiff and a paid confidential informant. BVS’s scheme to defraud was directed not just at Plaintiff and investors of The Praetorian Global Fund LTD, but also at several other public companies. BVS is Plaintiff’s co-defendant in a federal criminal prosecution against both, in which Plaintiff was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment, restitution of $13,500,000 (thirteen million and five hundred thousand dollars), $9,000,000 (nine million dollars) more than was rightly owed in the case. As a result of Plaintiff’s unjust and fabricated criminal prosecution, Plaintiff suffered tremendous financial losses, the divorce of his wife, and the death of his mother Ann Mattera. BVS served as the person fabricating the criminal indictment against Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s wife, and Plaintiff’s mother, as aided and encouraged by Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum. Ann Mattera suffered tremendous stress and financial losses, being the target of a criminal indictment prior to her death. Plaintiff’s wife, Lan Mattera’s, professional career as a doctor was ruined and she was threatened with criminal prosecution unless Plaintiff signed a plea agreement, which he eventually was coerced into doing. Rule 4-1.6(c)(1)(e)(f) – Defendants disclosed all of Plaintiff’s client information without Plaintiff’s consent and in furtherance of fabricating a criminal case against Plaintiff as orchestrated, planned, and executed by co-defendant BVS, a paid government CI. The proper behavior or cause of action as per Rule 4-1.6(a)(1) would have been for Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum to withdraw from representing both Plaintiff and BVS, but they failed and refused to do so. Worse yet, GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum sided with BVS, encouraged and pursued said course of criminal conduct to the tremendous detriment of Plaintiff and the benefit of BVS.
- D) Rule 4-1.7 – Conflict of Interest; Current clients, Rule 4-1.7(a)(1)(2); (b)(1)(2)(3) and (4); and (c) Defendants have violated these ethical prohibitions against representing a client whose interests are adverse to Plaintiff’s, not obtaining Plaintiff’s consent nor making explanations to the client as to his representation, and stole Plaintiff’s money on two separate cases.
- E) Rule 4-1.8 – Conflict of Interest; Prohibited and Other Transactions. Rule 4-1.8(b) – Defendants used Plaintiff’s confidential and personal information to Plaintiff’s utter disadvantage without informed written consent from Plaintiff. Rule 4-1.8(f) – Defendants accepted Plaintiff’s money to pay for co-defendant BVS’s attorney fees without Plaintiff’s informed written consent, impugning their independent and professional judgment, showing Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum to be in favor of BVS, which sacrificing the proper representation of Plaintiff, to Plaintiff’s dire disadvantage.
- F) Rule 4-1.9 – Conflict of Interest; Former Client. Rule 4-1.9(a)(b)(c) – Defendants used the information and material of Plaintiff, a former client, to advance the interests of BVS, to the detriment of Plaintiff. Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum totally ignored their ethical obligations to Plaintiff, a current and former client, without Plaintiff’s written consent.
- G) Rule 4-1.16 – Declining or Terminating Representation; Rule 4-1.16(a)(1)(4)(5) – Defendants’ representation has resulted in violation of numerous Rules of Professional Conduct. Defendants perpetrated a course of actions, both criminal and fraudulent, utilizing the criminal activities of their client BVS, to ensnare Plaintiff. Plaintiff was used, to Plaintiff’s detriment, for the enrichment of Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum, of $350,000.00 (three hundred and fifty thousand dollars) in attorney fees in the Argo/RVUE case and for BVS’s advantage by evading criminal prosecution and profiting from BVS’s criminal activities with impunity and the blessings and cooperation of the U.S. government.
- H) Rule 4-1.6(5)(1) and (d) – Withdrawal would have been the only wise choice of conduct for Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum, with reasonable notice to Plaintiff and BVS, allowing each time to employ separate new counsel, return of property and unused fees appropriately due Plaintiff. However, nothing was done for the benefit of Plaintiff. On the contrary, Defendants need to be punished monetarily and professionally by disbarment, permanent or otherwise, for their unbelievably egregious detrimental actions and disregard for Plaintiff, their own client.
- I) Rule 4-1.18 – Duties to Prospective Client. Rule 4-1.18(a)(b)(c) – Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum thoroughly violated these rules even if, in fact, Plaintiff were only a prospective client, and not deemed a client. In Plaintiff’s mind, Plaintiff paid for legal fees and cost, he cooperated assisting completely in his legal defense, and he expected to be treated as a client. Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum wholly failed and refused to honor their ethical obligations to Plaintiff and consider him as a client.
- J) Rule 4-4.1 – Truthfulness In Statements To Others. Rule 4-4.1(a) and (b) – Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum lied to the New York Bar about their representation of Plaintiff and withheld information and documents, even altering their retainer agreement, sent to the New York Bar Association and withheld a signed copy of Plaintiff’s retainer agreement, all of which assisted BVS in BVS’s criminal and fraudulent conduct targeting Plaintiff, GKN’s client. In addition, Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum failed to disclose Plaintiff’s wire transfer to GKN of $25,000 on 15 August 2011, or to acknowledge that Plaintiff’s $45,000 wire transfer to GKN on 22 August 2011 was in fact from Plaintiff. Such malevolent conduct towards a client is without parallel in the legal profession.
- Defendants’ actions violate the most primary and essential rules all attorneys are sworn to uphold. An attorney must never disclose a client’s confidences or personal information for that attorney’s or anyone else’s personal gain, as did occur in this matter.
- As a direct and proximate result of Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum’s breaches of their ethical obligations, Plaintiff has sustained and continues to sustain significant damages for which Defendants are jointly and severally liable to Plaintiff in an amount to be determined by a trier of fact, but no less than $2,000,000,000.00 (two billion dollars).
Count II – Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1 through 164 above, as if fully set forth herein.
- Plaintiff brings this cause of action against Defendants for their breaches of fiduciary duty.
- Each individual defendant owes or owed to Plaintiff the duty to exercise candor, good faith, and loyalty.
- The individual Defendant conduct set forth herein was due to their intentional, reckless, or negligent breaches of fiduciary duties owed to plaintiff. The individual Defendants intentionally, recklessly, or negligently breached or disregarded their fiduciary duties to protect the rights and interests of Plaintiff.
- As further set forth above, in breach of their fiduciary duties, the individual Defendants willfully participated in a common plan and scheme to cause Plaintiff egregious harm. The misconduct of each Defendant renders him/her personally liable to Plaintiff for breaching their fiduciary duty.
- As a direct and proximate result of each individual Defendant’s breach of their fiduciary obligations, each is jointly and severally liable to plaintiff for damages to be determined by the trier of fact, but no less than $2,000,000,000.00 (two billion dollars).
Count III – Aiding and Abetting Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1 through 170 as if same were fully set forth herein.
- Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum owe a fiduciary duty to Plaintiff, their client, a trust relationship, which they wholly and flagrantly breached.
- Plaintiff brings this cause of action against Defendants for aiding and abetting their breach of fiduciary duties to plaintiff, and for their abuse of such trust.
- As further set forth above, the individually named Defendants owe or owed fiduciary duties to Plaintiff, as their client, and they breached their fiduciary duties by participating in a common plan to use Plaintiff’s confidential information to benefit BVS, a paid confidential informant, and themselves, in order to cause Plaintiff to be entrapped and convicted of crimes not of Plaintiff’s own making or design.
- As further set forth above, each of the named Defendants had knowledge of each other’s fiduciary duties to Plaintiff and knowingly and intentionally provided each other and Plaintiff’s co-defendant in a civil and criminal matter, BVS, with substantial assistance in carrying out the fraud and other wrongful conduct set forth herein.
- As a direct and proximate result of the named Defendants aiding and abetting each other, Plaintiff has sustained and continues to sustain significant damages. The result of which, Defendants are jointly and severally liable for damages in an amount to be determined by the trier of fact, but not less than $2,000,000,000.00 (two billion dollars).
Count IV – Breach of Contract
- Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges the allegations set forth in paragraph 1 through 176 above, as if fully set forth herein.
- Plaintiff brings this cause of action for breach of contract, the attorney client retainer agreement.
- As set forth above, the Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum maintained a confidential relationship with BVS, whom the Defendants chose to later represent to the exclusion of Plaintiff, against Plaintiff, to Plaintiff’s grave detriment and damages.
- As set forth above, Defendants breached their contractual and other duties to Plaintiff, resulting in actionable misconduct.
- As a result of Defendants’ breach of contract, Plaintiff has sustained and continues to sustain significant damages. As a result, Defendants are jointly and severally liable to Plaintiff for damages in an amount to be determined by the trier of fact, but no less than $2,000,000,000.00 (two billion dollars).
Count V – Unjust Enrichment
- Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1 through 181 as if fully set forth herein.
- Plaintiff brings this cause of action against Defendants for unjust enrichment.
- As set forth above, Defendants engaged in a common plan and scheme to use Plaintiff’s confidential information to benefit BVS and themselves, and to deprive Plaintiff of substantial monies paid for attorney fees for representation of himself which was wholly and surreptitiously used to severally damage Plaintiff, both criminally and civilly.
- Defendants were unjustly enriched by their misconduct at Plaintiff’s expense.
- As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ unjust enrichment, Plaintiff has sustained and continues to sustain significant and substantial damages, by incarceration and monetary damages. As a result of Defendants’ misconduct, they are jointly and severally liable to Plaintiff for damages in an amount to be determined by the trier of fact, but no less than $2,000,000,000.00 (two billion dollars).
Count VI – Grand Theft Over $100,000.00
- Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges the allegations set forth in paragraph 1 through 185 as if fully set forth herein.
- Plaintiff brings this cause of action for Defendants’ theft of monies paid them by Plaintiff for attorney fees which were not used to benefit Plaintiff but instead, and in fact, used to benefit BVS in a civil and criminal matter adverse to Plaintiff, causing Plaintiff substantial damages criminally, monetarily, and otherwise.
- All Defendants are liable to Plaintiff for theft of his monies in excess of $100,000.00.
- As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ actions, Plaintiff has sustained financial damages in excess of $100,000.00 (one hundred thousand dollars). As such, the individual defendants are jointly and severally liable to Plaintiff for damages in an amount to be determined by the trier of fact, but no less than $100,000.00.
Count VII – Civil Theft
- Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges the allegations set forth in paragraph 1 through 189 as if fully set forth herein.
- Plaintiff brings this cause of action, as entitled and pursuant to the Florida Statute 772.11, for Defendants’ fraudulent course of conduct, deceiving Plaintiff as to his representation and other fraudulent conduct, causing Plaintiff significant and substantial damages, both criminally and monetarily.
- As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ fraudulent conduct, Plaintiff has sustained and continues to sustain significant damages. To wit, Defendants are jointly and severally liable for three times Plaintiff’s compensatory damages.
Count VIII – Tortious Interference in a Business Relationship
- Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges the allegations set forth in paragraph 1 through 192 as if same were fully set forth herein.
- Plaintiff brings this cause of action for Defendants’ tortious interference in Plaintiff’s ongoing business relationship with his associate, Marco Arese, and Plaintiff’s ongoing business relationships with others as a private investor.
- As further set forth above, Defendants willfully participated in a common plan and scheme to tortuously interfere in Plaintiff’s ongoing business relationships, causing substantial and significant criminal and civil damages to Plaintiff.
- As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ tortious interference with Plaintiff’s business relationships, Plaintiff sustained and continues to sustain significant and consequential damages. As a result of the misconduct alleged herein, the individual defendants are jointly and severally liable to Plaintiff for damages in an amount to be determined by the trier of fact, but no less than $2,000,000,000.00 (two billion dollars).
Count IX – Slander and Libel
- Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges the allegations set forth in paragraph 1 through 196, as if fully set forth herein.
- BVS, with the assistance and guidance of Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum, and with the U.S. government, contrived numerous scams and the criminal entrapment of Plaintiff, deliberately slandering and libeling Plaintiff, ruining Plaintiff’s professional reputation as a hedge fund manager and private investor.
- Defendants carried out their scheme of lies and misrepresentations against Plaintiff to benefit themselves financially and to evade criminal prosecution. BVS benefitted as a paid confidential informant, paying no fines nor restitution to the U.S. government, and was sentenced to a minimal four (4) month term of incarceration, which time was waived by the U.S. government.
- Defendants’ fraud and misconduct caused substantial and numerous bad and negatively insightful publicity for Plaintiff, making Plaintiff into a social and professional pariah with incalculable losses, over four years to date of incarceration, and personal losses.
Count X – Fraud By BVS and Ms. Siclen To Hide Assets To Evade Attachment
- Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges the allegations set forth in paragraph 1 through 200, as if fully set forth herein.
- As BVS committed more and more frauds against investors and Plaintiff, BVS would shelter and hide his stolen money by giving it to his wife to hold while BVS outwardly gave the appearance of having no money.
- BVS’s wife, Ms. Siclen, aided and abetted him in his scams and is equally liable to Plaintiff for damages.
- BVS falsely represented in his deals that he was possession and could sell “A” class shares of Fisker Automotive when, in fact, he had only “B” class shares of Fisker Automotive, which are the majority subject matter of Plaintiff’s manufactured indictment. BVS also falsely represented that he was in possession of millions of shares of Facebook stock, when in fact he had none.
- BVS also misrepresented 2 publicly traded vehicles, ADHC and SAHN, as being fruitful, viable businesses when they were in fact nothing more than FBI storefronts and vehicles to enrich himself and his group of government sponsored confidential informants, BVS’s unlicensed brokers, and BVS’s FBI handlers: FBI Special Agent John Edward Osa and disgraced former FBI Special Agent Ross Gaffney. BVS and his associates peddled fraudulent values associated with the companies and stole many millions of dollars of investors’ money.
- As a result of BVS’s fraudulent activities, Plaintiff suffered grievous and grave consequences, both criminally and civilly, to Plaintiff’s personal and professional life.
- BVS funneled all funds to his wife, Ms. Siclen, to evade collection and safeguard it from Plaintiff and other investors, including his marital home. That was all done with the assistance of the Federal government and all monies were taken from Plaintiff and investors.
Count XI – Unjust Enrichment and Grand Theft
- Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges the allegations set forth in paragraph 1 through 207, as if fully set forth herein.
- BVS unjustly enriched himself and committed grand theft in stealing Plaintiff’s and other investors’ monies.
- Plaintiff paid BVS’s salary and expenses as well as that of his unlicensed brokers, while BVS was conducting his fraud against Plaintiff and others. Plaintiff paid over $2 Million (two million dollars) directly and $4 Million (four million dollars) indirectly from 2009-2011, and close to $10 Million (ten million dollars) from Rhino Island Capital Inc., Mattera Asset Management Inc., and Boss International Marketing Inc.
- BVS has a long history of stealing from investors under the guise of legitimacy, using FBI storefronts. BVS stole from Plaintiff using two public companies, American Diversified Holding Corp and Saudi American Holding Corp, both of which were and are FBI storefronts, and by using a fully licensed hedge fund, The Praetorian Global Fund Ltd, and its subsidiary LLCs Praetorian Services Ltd and Praetorian Management Ltd. BVS has also used many companies before this. Separate lawsuits against BVS, his associated confidential informants, and the Federal government have been filed by victimized investors since 1999.
Count XII – Conspiracy Between GKN and BVS
- Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges paragraph 1 through 211, as if fully set forth herein.
- Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum have a long history of representing, aiding, and abetting confidential informants such as BVS, Patrick J. Lochrie, Todd van Siclen, David Martin Otto, David Carruthers, and their handlers such as FBI Special Agent John Edward Osa, disgraced former FBI Special Agent Ross Gaffney, and DOJ attorney Peter Lowenberg, in order to manufacture criminal cases against unsuspecting innocent parties, such as Plaintiff.
- Defendants did in fact conspire to manufacture a criminal case against Plaintiff to benefit all Defendants, causing great monetary damages and criminal prosecution to Plaintiff.
- Defendants GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum planned, strategized, and organized a conspiracy with their client, BVS, who had a fatal conflict of interest with Plaintiff. Defendants needed someone, in this case Plaintiff, to hold responsible for BVS’s criminal actions and to absolve BVS of same, to cover up Nusbaum and GKN’s involvement with BVS’s schemes including but not limited to the sourcing and sale of non-existent Facebook shares, while profiting from Plaintiff’s cooperation.
- GKN, Kaplan, and Nusbaum knowingly and maliciously conspired with BVS to have Plaintiff pay for BVS’s attorneys fees to GKN, as well as having Plaintiff pay BVS’s exorbitant salary and expenses while, at all times, targeting Plaintiff to take responsibility for BVS’s criminal conduct.
- Defendants GKN, Kaplan, Nusbaum, and BVS all conspired against Plaintiff and were the proximate cause of Plaintiff’s severe monetary damages and criminal prosecution and conviction.
- Special punitive damages are warranted against Defendants for their conspiracy against Plaintiff resulting in Plaintiff’s severe monetary damages and criminal prosecution and conviction.
Prayer for Relief
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully prays for relief and judgment, as follows:
- A) An award of compensatory damages in favor of Plaintiff as against Defendants, jointly and severally, for all damages sustained as a result of Defendants’ wrongdoings, in an amount to be proven at trial, including interest thereon.
- B) An award of civil theft damages to Plaintiff as against Defendants, jointly and severally, for all damages sustained as a result of Defendants’ wrongdoings, in an amount three times the amount of compensatory damages.
- C) An award of punitive damages to Plaintiff as against Defendants, jointly and severally, for all damages sustained as a result of Defendants’ wrongdoings, and Defendants’ conspiring against Plaintiff.
- D) To award Plaintiff his costs and expenses incurred, including attorney’s fees.
- E) Plaintiff demands trial by jury.
- F) Plaintiff further prays that this Honorable Court construe this pleading liberally in light of Haines v. Kerner, 404 US 519, 520-21, 92 S.Ct 594, 30 L.Ed 2d 652 (1972) holding that, “pro se litigants are to be held to a lesser standard of review than lawyers who are formally trained in the law, and are entitled to a liberal construction of the pleadings.”
- G) To award Plaintiff such other and further relief as this Honorable Court may deem meet and just.
John A. Mattera
Reg. # 97650-004
Federal Correctional Complex (LOW)
P.O. Box 5000
Yazoo City, MS 39194