Tauler Smith LLP sues Chase Bank & SBA for PPP Loan Fraud

Lawsuit Seeks Order that Chase Bank be Enjoined from Participating in PPP loan Program and give $700 million dollars back to the Treasury.

According to the lawsuit, by the time Chase Bank’s online portal opened to small businesses, Chase Bank had already personally solicited and submitted all of the loans for its rich clients, who could ask for bigger loans that would be more profitable to Chase Bank. The average PPP loan Chase Bank funded was over $500,000. According to the lawsuit, Chase made over $700 million in less than two weeks, with no risk and no need to verify the statements of their rich clients.

A copy of the lawsuit can be found here:

Wedding Cancelled by Coronavirus? Here are Your Legal Options

As wedding season approaches, couples across the nation are faced with the grim reality that their weddings have been involuntarily canceled due to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Consequently, we are likely to see an onslaught of lawsuits against wedding venues and vendors in the year to come. Particularly, breach of contract claims by bride-to-be’s against wedding venues and vendors for refusal to refund advanced payments for a wedding that never occurs. Fortunately, there is some hope for couples who have written contracts in place: wedding contracts may contain force majeure provisions, you may be able to rescind your wedding contract if it is impossible to execute, and your wedding contract may be unenforceable contracts because they are against public policy.

We have previously written on force majeure provisions during Coronavirus. However, wedding contracts create special circumstances allowing would be newlyweds. The U.S. has declared a national emergency, and certain states, such as California, have issued executive orders implementing “shelter in place” of all residents, ordering closure of all nonessential businesses, and prohibiting gatherings of over ten people, arguably creating a public policy that weddings cannot go forward during the crisis.

Generally, a legal claim fails if it is based on an agreement that violates law and is contrary to public policy. See Kashani v. Tsann Kuen China Enter. Co., 118 Cal. App. 4th 531, 559, 13 Cal. Rptr. 3d 174 (2004)( “[t]he law has a long history of recognizing the general rule that certain contracts, though properly entered into in all other respects, will not be enforced, or at least will not be enforced fully, if found to be contrary to public policy.”) Given the public prohibition in California regarding gatherings of ten or more people, any persons attending, hosting, or working a wedding would be acting contrary to public policy that would threaten public health.

For example, if a bride-to-be hires a wedding photographer, and the photographer fails to perform photography services at the wedding (because the wedding is cancelled from Coronavirus), then the bride-to-be would arguably not obligated to pay the photographer. The challenge with wedding vendor contracts is the prevailing industry standard, whereby all services are typically prepaid in full. Given the unprecedented circumstances provided by the COVID-19 epidemic, however, the photographer should refund the full payment for the services they never performed.

If you need a lawyer for wedding contracts, Tauler Smith LLP can advise you regarding your rights and obligations and help you navigate this process. Contact us to see if we can help.

DNP Distributor Sentenced to 7 Years for Selling as “Not for Human Consumption” Two U.S. Deaths Confirmed from the Sale of DNP

Barry Clint Wright, owner of CrystalDNP.com was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for distributing DNP (dinitrophenol) as “not for human consumption” and as fertilizer among other things. The government enhanced his sentence because of three confirmed deaths from his products, two in the United States.

FDA Press Release: http://bit.ly/2T8PxFt

Blackstone Labs Criminal Trial Update Co-Defendant Pleads Guilty

Tauler Smith LLP Defeats Three Successive Motions for Summary Adjudication in Protein Bar Dispute

LOS ANGELES, November 10, 2019 ‑ Tauler Smith LLP has successfully defeated three motions for summary adjudication in complex multi-party litigation regarding the manufacture of protein bars. The triad of motions were brought by cross-defendants Defense Nutrition, LLC, Sapphire Bakery Co., and Bruce Olsen, Sapphire’s former CEO, against law firm client and cross-complainant Eagle Mist Corporation.

The litigation has spanned over three years and includes three cross-complaints between seven parties, all relating to business disputes surrounding the manufacture of thirteen types of nutritional protein bars. In one cross-complaint, Eagle Mist Corporation, which specializes in formulation of foods, has alleged that various entities conspired to commit fraud and breach a series of contracts culminating in the conversion of Eagle Mist Corporation’s assets.

In two separate hearings on October 1 and November 8, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Linfield denied cross-defendants’ Motion for Summary Adjudication in their entirety, allowing Eagle Mist’s claims of breach of contract, conversion, concealment, and fraudulent misrepresentation proceed to trial.

The Court rejected the arguments brought by Cross-Defendants, including that lost profits were unavailable to Eagle Mist, reasoning that the availability of lost profits “is a quintessential jury question.”

The case is set for a two-week jury trial in January, 2020. “We are very pleased that the Court has agreed that our clients’ claims should proceed to trial,” lead counsel Robert Tauler said.

$40 Million in Contempt Sanctions for False Advertising of Weight Loss Supplements in Violation of Injunction Affirmed

The 11th Circuit upheld a district court’s granting of $40 million in contempt sanctions against Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals and other co-defendants for making unsubstantiated marketing statements on four weight loss supplements in violation of an injunction obtained by the Federal Trade Commission. The $40 million figure represents the amount of gross revenue from the four products.

“The ink had hardly dried on filings from the first injunction case when the defendants started a new marketing campaign in 2009. This time, they touted the fat- and weight-loss benefits of four products—a reformulated version of Lipodrene, Fastin, Benzedrine, and Stimerex-ES. For example, advertisements for Lipodrene warned users not to consume the product unless ‘fat loss and weight loss are your intended result’; advertisements for Fastin boasted that it was an ‘Extreme Fat Burner’; those for Benzedrine claimed that it would ‘annihilate . . . fat’; and advertisements for Stimerex-ES told users that this was a product ‘for those who want their fat-burner to light them up all day as their pounds melt away.'”

The full opinion is available here.

WXYZ ABC Channel 7

Tauler Smith LLP files lawsuit in Michigan against convenience stores

The suit filed in Detroit federal court accuses the companies that own the gas stations and covenience stores of selling pills that are billed as sexual enhancement supplements, which lab tests have found actually contain drugs such as sildenafil, desmethyl carbodenafil, dapoxetine and tadalafil.

Check out the coverage by various local TV stations and newspapers in Michigan:

WJBK (Fox) Detroit: http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/lawsuit-detroit-gas-stations-selling-male-enhancement-pills-with-hidden-active-ingredients

WXYZ (ABC) Detroit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD5H_gL5mws

WDIV (NBC) Detroit: https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/metro-detroit-gas-stations-accused-of-selling-viagra-to-unsuspecting-customers

WWJ News Radio, Detroit: https://wwjnewsradio.radio.com/articles/detroit-gas-stations-named-federal-lawsuit-selling-viagra-without-prescription

Detroit Free Press, Detroit: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2018/08/13/do-you-need-prescription-viagra/974946002/

Metro Times, Detroit: https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2018/08/13/sunoco-may-be-selling-viagra-disguised-as-enhancement-pills

Courthouse News: https://www.courthousenews.com/gas-stations-accused-of-selling-illegal-male-enhancement-drugs/

Texas gas stations secretly selling Viagra are exposed by False Advertising Law Firm Tauler Smith LLP

The suit filed in Houston federal court accuses the companies that own the gas stations of selling pills that are billed as sexual enhancement supplements, which lab tests have found actually contain drugs such as sildenafil, desmethyl carbodenafil, dapoxetine and tadalafil.

Check out the coverage by various local TV stations in Texas:

KTRK/CNN Tyler, Texas: https://www.easttexasmatters.com/news/top-stories/gas-stations-selling-illegal-viagra/1351659361

KGNS (NBC) Laredo, Texas: http://www.kgns.tv/content/news/Texas-lawyer-sues-gas-stations-over-490283331.html

KXAN (NBC) Austin, Texas: https://www.kxan.com/news/texas/lawsuit-houston-convenience-stores-sell-viagra-laced-supplements/1351083377

Channel 2 (NBC) Houston, Texas: https://www.click2houston.com/video/15-convenience-stores-accused-of-selling-pills-with-drug-found-in-viagra

ABC 13 Houston, Texas: https://abc13.com/health/viagra-laced-pills-allegedly-being-sold-at-houston-gas-stations/3895662/