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“A life settlement is a transaction in which an insured person sells his or her life insurance policy to a third party,” explains the complaint for this class action. Life settlements are at issue in this case for “fraud, conspiracy, aiding and abetting, civil theft, and breach of fiduciary duty,” against defendants Conestoga Settlement Services, LLC, Conestoga International, LLC, Conestoga Trust Services, LLC, Michael McDermott, Provident Trust Group, LLC, LLC Bradford and Company, LLC, and Strategix Solutions, Ltd.

Gold Bars

On June 25, 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a non-prosecution agreement with Merrill Lynch Commodities, Inc. in connection with a criminal investigation of the company. The complaint for this class action takes up its findings and brings suit against Merrill Lynch, its parent company Bank of American Corporation, and individuals on behalf of investors who suffered from the companies’ behavior. The issue is the manipulation of prices for precious metals futures contracts via a scheme called “spoofing.”

People's United Bank Logo

Investors bring this class action against companies they believed would build a Jay Peak Ski Resort in Vermont—People’s United Financial, Inc. and People’s United Bank. But according to the complaint, the money they put up went to an alleged Ponzi scheme, finally uncovered in a two-year investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Bank of New York Mellon

Bank of New York Mellon is trustee for a trust established by the grandmother and great-grandmother of the plaintiffs in this case. BNY Mellon made poor investments, favoring an affiliate’s mutual funds, the complaint says, when better choices would have earned the trust another $100,000 in income or appreciation in the last five years alone. The complaint’s sole claim is the BNY has breached its fiduciary duty. 

HSBC Logo on Wall

This is the third in a series of class action suits filed by Royal Park Investments (RPI) based on other current lawsuits. The original lawsuits each allege that a certain bank has failed to fulfill its duties as trustees to RPI funds; these secondary suits allege that the defendant banks have been paying their legal fees for the original suits out of the trusts’ funds. The complaint for this class action claims that neither the trusts’ Governing Agreements nor the common law of trusts permits HSBC to use the trusts’ funds for this purpose. As the complaint puts it, “Thus, the investors are being harmed by HSBC twice—first through HSBC’s misconduct as alleged in the Litigation, and second through HSBC’s improper and illegal use of those same damaged investors’ funds to defend itself for its misconduct.”

GE Logo

Federal law requires that most company retirement plans be managed for the sole benefits of those enrolled in the plans. But the complaint for this class action alleges that General Electric and associated entities violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) with its Retirement Savings Plan by favoring underperforming GE-related funds as investments and charging excessive management fees for GE’s profit.

City National Bank Building

Two men, Joel Barry Gillis and Edward W. Wishner, are now in prison for running NASI, a company that operated a Ponzi scheme purporting to sell ATMs to investors in return for “rentals” from ATM fees. How did they get away with it for fifteen long years? According to the complaint for this class action, they were aided and abetted by a bank Senior Vice-President who used his position as well as the bank’s credibility and resources on their behalf in exchange for profiting from the scheme. Fitzwilliam performed many services to help keep NASI in business, according to the complaint, such as granting it immediate loans to cover shortfalls to make lulling payments to investors; writing promotional letters vouching for NASI as its banker; and talking to investors who were beginning to get suspicious and assuring them that NASI was legitimate. Since all of these supportive actions were undertaken in the regular scope of his employment at CNB, the complaint claims, the bank is liable for his actions.

US Bank Sign on Building

Royal Park Investments (RPI) hired US Bank National Association as trustee for twenty-one of its residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) trusts, but apparently was not satisfied with the bank’s performance. It is suing US Bank in a case called Royal Park Inv. SA/NV v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, No. 1:14-cv-02590-VM—but it claims to have recently discovered that the bank has been funding its defense with money from the trusts. Under both the trusts’ Governing Agreements and the common law of trusts, the complaint for this class action says, a trustee like US Bank is not allowed to do this. The trustee is required to administer the trusts for the sole benefit of the certificate holders. The complaint thus alleges that the bank has injured the investors in the trusts twice—first, by breaching the contractual and common-law duties owed to the certificate holders, and second, by defending its misconduct with money that belongs to the certificate holders.

Wells Fargo Logo

This case is built on top of another case. Royal Park Investments (RPI) sued Well Fargo in Royal Park Investments SA/NV v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 1:14-cv-09764-KPF-SN (S.D.N.Y.), claiming that Wells Fargo had failed to fulfill its duties as a trustee of two of RPI’s trusts, allegedly damaging RPI and the classes’ certificate holders. The complaint claims that Wells Fargo has defended itself with wasteful, inappropriate measures, “scorched earth tactics,” and “oppressive discovery.” This was mystifying to RPI, until, the complaint claims, “in early 2017, RPI became aware that Wells Fargo may have been billing the costs of defending the Litigation” to the trusts themselves. According to the complaint, Wells Fargo is not permitted to do this under either the trusts’ governing agreements or the common law of trusts.


This class action alleges that Apollo Global Management, LLC orchestrated a fraudulent “restructuring” of CEVA Investments Limited (CIL), in breach of its fiduciary duty, that extinguished the value of shares held by its CEVA-employee investors for the benefit of Apollo. The employee investor plaintiffs believe that their losses in this restructuring amounted to more than 14 million euros.