KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(www.stuevesiegel.com) and the Malloy Law Firm (www.malloylawfirm.com) have filed a lawsuit on behalf of a bankruptcy trustee against Commerce Bank for aiding and abetting a convicted stock scammer by allowing him to launder the ill-gotten gains from his schemes through various accounts at the bank and send them to off-shore accounts in known tax havens.)--Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP (
“The banking activities of Gordon and his co-conspirators at Commerce repeatedly invoked numerous red flags over a long period of time, clearly demonstrating to Commerce that Gordon was using it to launder money”
The lawsuit alleges that Commerce Bank, acting by and through one of its loan officers and his assistant, knowingly assisted David Gordon, one of Commerce’s largest customers, in perpetrating several “pump-and-dump” stock schemes that defrauded tens of millions of dollars from innocent investors. David Gordon was later tried and convicted for these crimes and is now serving a lengthy prison sentence in a federal penitentiary. Evidence shows that at least two Commerce employees participated in the pump-and-dump schemes and made astronomical returns on their investment in very short periods of time. The lawsuit alleges that Commerce Bank and its employee Bruce Humphrey are liable to Gordon’s victims for facilitating his schemes and sharing in the profits. The plaintiff in the case is the bankruptcy trustee appointed to preside over David Gordon’s bankruptcy estate. The lawsuit asserts claims for aiding and abetting violations of federal and state securities laws, conspiracy to commit fraud, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, and negligent supervision.
The Trustee contends that Mr. Gordon’s money laundering and other banking activities at Commerce had to have triggered the bank’s anti-money laundering monitoring system. “The banking activities of Gordon and his co-conspirators at Commerce repeatedly invoked numerous red flags over a long period of time, clearly demonstrating to Commerce that Gordon was using it to launder money,” said Rick Paul, an attorney for the Trustee.
The lawsuit further alleges that many of the accounts opened by Gordon at Commerce were “nominee” accounts in the name of businesses that had no legitimate business purpose other than to receive proceeds from Gordon’s stock schemes and launder Gordon’s ill-gotten gains and transfer the money to offshore bank accounts in countries known to protect laundered monies including Belize and the Turks and Caicos.
Given the substantial business transacted at and through Commerce and the long relationship Gordon had with Commerce and its officers, and its employee’s specific involvement in the scheme, the lawsuit alleges Commerce knew of the schemes and aided and abetted those schemes. Also, the bank was so entwined with Gordon’s business and personal dealings, it would have unquestionably noticed the unusual transactions and should have investigated the circumstances of those transactions. To view the Complaint in its entirety, go to www.stuevesiegel.com/CommerceBank.
Case No. CJ-2013-00065
Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP represents plaintiffs on a contingent fee basis, including bankruptcy trustees, in complex commercial litigation.