Wells Fargo (Photo by Bloomberg Photos)
A federal appeals court has reinstated a claim that Wells Fargo aided a $68 million affinity fraud by con artist George Theodule who targeted South Florida’s Haitian community.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Tuesday reinstated the equity claim against Wells Fargo by court-appointed receiver Jonathan E. Perlman, who controls Theodule’s defunct company, Creative Capital Consortium LLC.
Theodule targeted the Haitian community through Creole-language radio shows.
The unsigned decision came from District Judges Stanley Marcus and Joel Dubina and U.S. District Judge Terrell Hodges of Ocala. They said testimony from bank representatives indicated they had actual knowledge of the Ponzi scam.
The Eleventh Circuit reversed an order by Senior U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley in West Palm Beach and authorized an amended complaint.
Perlman, and his attorney, W. Barry Blum, are from Genovese Joblove & Battista in Miami.
Another Eleventh Circuit panel reinstated fraudulent transfer claims against Bank of America in March.
“This decision further supports our position that a bank that has knowledge of improper activity being conducted in its accounts cannot enable the wrongdoing by continuing to serve as a platform for the ongoing fraud,” Blum said.
A call to Wells Fargo for comment was not returned by deadline.
Theodule is serving a 12½-year prison sentence.