Cyprus Mail

Lawsuit in US against Cyprus withdrawn

A lawsuit filed early in 2019 in the US Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida against people, companies and institutions in the Republic of Cyprus accusing them of being complicit in money laundering, has been withdrawn, the legal service said on Wednesday.

The case titled ‘Edward D. Fagan v. The Central Bank of Cyprus, the Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus and Others’ centred on bringing action against the defendants under the judgement of an American court.

The plaintiff claimed $13.68 million in damages from the Republic and three times that amount for lost profits.

According to the original court filing, the complaint dealt with a scheme of “advance fees” and contracts the lawsuit said were used for money laundering, racketeering and other illegal activities to which the plaintiff fell victim.

“Persons, entities and financial institutions in the Republic were used as agents or brokers for the international criminal networks and/or other persons/entities engaged in money laundering, tax evasion and other unlawful activities,” it said.

The case filing said officials of the Republic protected the persons and entities victimised the plaintiff by refusing to take action to investigate and prosecute. Other officials delayed the efforts of the plaintiff to identity the persons and entities involved with the illegal contract scheme, it added.

“The plaintiff had no idea that the contracts were part of a money laundering scheme, a racketeering enterprise or other illegal and unlawful activities,” it added.

Cyprus immediately filed a motion to dismiss the case and challenged the notion of jurisdiction of an American court under the rules of international law concerning the privilege of retaliation.

The Legal Service said it was informed on Wednesday that the plaintiff had withdrawn the lawsuit in relation to the institutions, bodies and officials of the Republic of Cyprus, “apparently in the absence of counterarguments to the positions put forward by the Republic of Cyprus in its aforementioned application,” it said.

Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle, an international law firm, represented the Republic before the US court in cooperation with the Legal Service and the Central Bank, it added.


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