NEW YORK, May 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hon. Jed Rakoff of The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled today that Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers (AHAB) has the right to discovery documents related to foreign proceedings against Bank of America, Citibank, Standard Chartered, and HSBC. AHAB has been fighting with the banks for months for documents that could trace how up to $1 trillion flowed through US banks as part of one of the largest money laundering schemes in history, as well as information regarding control of those accounts by Maan Al Sanea, a Saudi who has been charged with defrauding banking regulators in Bahrain and is subject to a worldwide freezing order.
All four banks previously submitted wholesale objections to AHAB's 1782 petition, arguing that AHAB might use the records to sue the banks for their role in the money-laundering scheme.
"To date, these banks have refused to provide AHAB with essential records that will show up to $1 trillion of 'dirty' money moving in and out of all four banks. These accounts, which were controlled by Maan Al Sanea and his deputies and used to facilitate his global Ponzi scheme, will provide critical evidence of how the fraud was perpetrated, who was involved and where some of the misappropriated money may have gone," said Eric Lewis, AHAB's chief legal advisor and partner of Baach, Robinson & Lewis.
Section 1782 of Title 28 of the United State Code is a federal statue allowing parties in a foreign legal proceeding to obtain information critical to litigation outside U.S. jurisdiction.
In his judgment, Judge Rakoff ruled, "Since the Court is satisfied that the documents AHAB is seeking are relevant to the foreign proceedings and 'for use' in the foreign proceedings, the fact that AHAB may also be able to use the discovery in future litigation against [the banks] is immaterial."
In September 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations heard testimony outlining an estimated $1 trillion that Maan Al Sanea directed through the New York financial system, which was instrumental to the mechanics of Al Sanea's money laundering operation. Rep. Peter King of New York has also requested that Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice investigate Al Sanea's use of the U.S. financial system as it relates to this case.
In March 2011, Bahrain initiated criminal proceedings against Maan Al Sanea and 14 of his former employees from Awal Bank and The International Banking Corporation (TIBC). AHAB has long since maintained that Awal Bank and TIBC were fraudulently established for the primary purpose of defrauding the Al Gosaibi family and financial institutions around the world.
SOURCE Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers (AHAB)