Osen LLC in the News
(CN) - Days before jury selection, the Jordan-based Arab Bank averted a trial to determine how much it owed in damages after previously being found to have bankrolling terrorism, a lawyer confirmed.
Families of 300 victims of suicide bombings convinced a jury last year, a decade after the filing of their lawsuit, to make the Amman, Jordan-based bank pay for its role in attacks on Israeli civilians between 2000 and 2004.
Observers called the decision the first time a financial institution had been found liable in the United States for providing material support to a terrorist organization under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Lawyers for a bank that transferred cash to the families of Hamas militants are trying to slam the brakes on a graphic display that could find its way into a Brooklyn courtroom — a Volkswagen occupied by four crash dummies representing the victims of a terror attack.
Big banks believe that lawsuits alleging that they are financing terrorism cause "de-risking," and the banks are warning that this is a bad development. What are they talking about?
De-risking is jargon for pulling out of places—perhaps the Palestinian territories or Somalia—where doing business has led to regulatory penalties and/or lawsuits. As government agencies and plaintiffs' attorneys have increasingly accused international banks of engaging in money laundering and financing terrorists, some banks have cut ties to clients in the Middle East and Africa.
Banks describe de-risking as a way to limit exposure to U.S. government fines and court liability. The banks further claim that the trend has resulted in a scarcity of banking services for poor people who depend on remittances from relatives in the West and for nongovernmental organizations devoted to humanitarian causes. Further, the banks assert that cutting off troubled regions from the international financial system will result in more—not less—crime and terrorism.
A judge has refused to upset a jury verdict that found Arab Bank civilly liable for the material support of Hamas during the Second Intifada.
"The verdict was based on volumes of damning circumstantial evidence that the defendant knew its customers were terrorists," Eastern District Judge Brian Cogan wrote in a 96-page decision released Wednesday, denying most of the bank's bid for judgment as a matter of law and rebuffing a request for a retrial.
By denying certiorari last week in Linde v. Arab Bank, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for a terrorism finance case to begin trial on Aug. 11. About 300 U.S. citizens who were injured or lost a relative in the second Palestinian intifada allege that Arab Bank funneled "martyr payments" to families of suicide bombers, and they're seeking to hold Jordan's leading bank liable under the U.S. Antiterrorism Act. Is it possible the trial will really happen?
It's been a rough few months for plaintiffs seeking to hold companies liable in U.S. courts for overseas violence, culminating with last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. restricting the reach of the Alien Tort Statute. But plaintiffs caught a break Wednesday in a lawsuit targeting Arab Bank over its alleged financing of the Palestinian group Hamas.
Arab Bank Plc (ARBK), Jordan’s largest lender, lost a bid to avoid a U.S. trial in a lawsuit brought by terrorism victims who accuse it of supporting attacks in Israel. U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon in Brooklyn, New York, yesterday rejected the bank’s request to throw out the case, sending it toward trial. The victims claim in their lawsuit that Arab Bank, based in Amman, “knowingly and purposefully supported” foreign terrorist organizations from 1995 to 2004 by providing financial support to terrorists, including administering payments to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. The bank has denied wrongdoing.
US Eastern District of New York Judge Nina Gershon will hold a key hearing on Wednesday in what could be the first terror financing case against a bank to go to trial in United States history. The potential blockbuster case against Arab Bank has already been featured on CBS’s Sunday Morning show and, in addition to setting significant and binding precedents, could have a “meaningful impact on banks” that finance terror groups “for profit because they are indifferent to just another customer and don’t care,” said lead litigator Gary Osen.
April 21, 2013 CBS Sunday Morning News broadcast aired a news story on Arab Bank financing Martyrs.
Arab Bank Plc (ARKB)'s appeal of sanctions for not obeying discovery orders in a lawsuit brought by victims of terrorist attacks was dismissed by a federal appeals court in New York. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today that it couldn't hear the bank's appeal of a sanctions order imposed by U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon in Brooklyn until after the consolidated suits pending before her have ended. "We conclude that the sanctions order is not a reviewable collateral order, and we therefore dismiss the bank's appeal for want of jurisdiction," the panel of judges said.