Retired Baseball Player Alex Rodriguez Facing Civil RICO Complaint from Former Brother-in-Law
According to reporting from The Morning Call, Alex Rodriguez is facing a lawsuit from Constantine Scurtis, his former brother-in-law. In an explosive lawsuit, the retired MLB superstar is being accused of fraud, racketeering, embezzlement, and a wide range of other financial misconduct.
For his part, Mr. Rodriguez has consistently denied the allegations. Indeed, he has previously filed a countersuit against Mr. Scurtis. In this article, our West Palm Beach RICO claims lawyers discuss the allegations and the legal standard that applies to civil RICO cases in Florida.
Allegations: Racketeering as Part of a Florida Real Estate Deal
The underlying legal dispute in this case stems all the way back to a real estate deal that Alex Rodriguez and his then-brother-in-law Constantine Scurtis first entered in 2003. After Mr. Rodriguez’s 2008 divorce, Mr. Scurtis was eventually ousted from their real estate company (ACREI). He has long argued that his ouster occurred under false pretenses. In recent weeks, Mr. Scurtis intensified the legal action by filing a 59 count claim. In this claim, he alleged violations under Florida’s civil RICO statute, accusing the former baseball all star of engaging in a pattern of racketeering and embezzlement, including insurance fraud and mortgage fraud.
Civil Litigation: Proving a RICO Violation is Challenging
A RICO violation is a serious matter, and it can carry significant penalties. A plaintiff who brings a successful RICO lawsuit in Florida is entitled to treble damages. In other words, the court can award civil damages that are three times the amount of the plaintiff’s actual financial losses. That being said, proving a RICO violation is not easy. There are very specific standards that must be met. An important distinction must be made between a RICO violation and other types of civil fraud. To bring a successful RICO lawsuit in Florida, you must prove the following three things:
- The defendant engaged in racketeering activity;
- There was a pattern of misconduct; and
- You suffered financial losses as a direct consequence of the racketeering activity.
Florida courts will quickly dismiss a civil RICO lawsuit if the plaintiff cannot meet their initial burden. In preparing a civil RICO claim, a plaintiff must provide evidence that proves that the defendant engaged in a pattern racketeering activity as part of an enterprise. If you are considering filing a civil RICO lawsuit, it is crucial that you consult with an experienced legal professional. Even a small defect in your complaint could result in an immediate dismissal.
Contact Our Florida Civil RICO Claims Lawyers for Legal Guidance and Support
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida RICO attorneys are skilled, reliable advocates for our clients. We see solutions where others see problems and we here to protect your legal rights. If you have any questions about civil litigation and RICO, our team will get you answers. Contact us now for a strictly confidential initial consultation. Our law firm handles civil RICO cases in Miami, West Palm Beach, and throughout all of South Florida.