Investors should not assume that the legal and judicial system will protect them from Securities Fraud.
Operation Wrinkled Robe was the FBI’s secret name for its sprawling, multi-faceted investigation into corruption at the Jefferson Parish Courthouse in Gretna which expanded into the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
By 2010 Judge Bodenheimer and Judge Green had been sent to jail and a third, U.S. District Judge Thomas Porteous, was impeached by Congress in 2010.
Eleven others went to jail as well for giving gifts to the judges for favors. One was Phil Demma.
In September 2003 U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman sentenced Phil Demma to 24 months in prison and three years of probation and fined him $8,000. Popeye’s Fried Chicken Founder and Chairman of the Board Al Copeland had asked Demma to intercede with Judge Bodenheimer regarding a child custody case offering Judge Bodenheimer a lucrative seafood contract in exchange for the favorable domestic ruling.
Even with this attention Judicial Sanctions still happen. In February 2015, Eighteenth Judicial District Judge J. Robin Free was sanctioned and suspended by the Louisiana Judiciary Commission for refusing to recuse accepting an all-expense-paid trip from a Texas attorney whose client was awarded a $1.2 million settlement in a personal injury lawsuit tried in the judge’s court.
One case of Judge Porteous’ unscored an issue called Summary Judgment, which allows Judges to deny trails under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 56. FRCP 12 can also provide a means for a Judge to dismiss a case for Failure to State a Claim.
On June 3, 2001, Ada and Ronnie Turner brought suit against Neal Pleasant from a boating accident. Judge Porteous dismissed the case in Summary Judgment and in 2005 the Appeal Court denied the Turner’s Appeal. Six years later, only after the Impeachment by Congress, the Appeals Court reversed its decision but first the Turners had to apply and be denied by the District Court their motion to reopen the case.
These examples illustrate that Schemers and Fraudsters know how lengthy and difficult the legal system can be for Plaintiffs. The FBI Reports that many frauds simply go unreported.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a complete summary of information needed to recommend any investment. Consult the appropriate professional to determine how this information applies to your unique situation.
About the Author: Charles Marsala is a LPL Financial Advisor with Benchmark Investment Group with Securities offered through LPL Financial, a member FINRA/SIPC. He can be contacted at Charles.Marsala@lpl.com