A Florida Company has Filed a CIVIL RICO Lawsuit Over Missing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
According to a report from Law 360, a Florida company has filed a multi-million dollar civil RICO lawsuit against Apex Distribution LLC, an international procurement service firm based in New Jersey. MBI Services LLC alleges that Apex Distribution misrepresented its ability to import millions of protective gloves and engaged in organized fraud to keep the scheme going. Here our West Palm Beach RICO claims attorneys provide an overview of the legal complaint.
The Allegations: Repeated Misrepresentations Regarding the Status of Delivery
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a rush on personal protective equipment (PPE). In the initial stages of the outbreak, there were serious PPE shortages throughout the country. While supply is catching up to demand, there are still many issues that need to be resolved. MBI Services LLC is a business that, among other things, procures and resells PPE in the U.S. market.
In 2020, MBI contends that it entered into a joint venture agreement with Apex Distribution. As part of that agreement, Apex Distribution allegedly represented that it could obtain millions of pairs of protective gloves. In exchange, MBI states that it deposited $2 million in initial funding. The complaint states that Apex was supposed to use that money to secure and import the gloves.
The gloves never arrived. MBI is now arguing in a Florida federal court that Apex Distribution—and several of its principals—never had the ability to obtain the gloves. Instead, they argue that the New Jersey-based firm repeatedly misrepresented how close the protective gloves were to be delivered and had not given the money back.
MBI Services is Seeking Treble Damages, Attorneys’ Fees Through Civil RICO Claim
Beyond merely alleging business fraud or breach of contract, MBI Services has filed a civil RICO lawsuit. To prove liability in a civil RICO case in Florida, a plaintiff must go beyond proving “mere fraud.”—instead, they prove that the defendant engaged in fraud through a pattern of sustained misconduct as part of an enterprise. It can be a challenging legal burden to meet.
At the same time, there is a lot more at stake in a civil RICO case. Under Florida’s RICO laws, a plaintiff who brings a successful lawsuit is entitled to recover financial compensation for three times their actual out-of-pocket losses. This is often referred to as ‘treble damages.’ In addition, a successful plaintiff can recover compensation for reasonable attorneys’ fees and other legal costs.
Contact Our Florida Rico Claims Attorneys for Immediate Help With Your Case
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida civil RICO lawyers believe that each and every client deserves high level, professional representation from an attorney they can trust. We have an in-depth understanding of state and federal RICO laws. If you have any questions about pursuing or defending a civil RICO action, we are more than qualified to help. We serve all of South Florida from our law offices in West Palm Beach and Miami.