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Federal government seeks $4 million in treble damages from JD Equipment de Mexico over fraud claims

Lawsuits

By Carrie Bradon | May 14, 2019


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The United States of America alleges agricultural machinery retailers and exporters defrauded it with the submission of false and fraudulent documents and is seeking $4 million in treble damages.

United States of America filed a complaint on April 22 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against JD Equipment de Mexico, S de R.L. de CV c/o Alexis Dubourbieu Urdangarin; South Point Equipment LLC; and Alexis Dubourdieu Urdangarin alleging violation of the False Claims Act, fraud, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

The plaintiff alleges that on Aug. 9, 2012, JD Equipment submitted to Banco Monex documents that claimed to show the purchases of a John Deere combine and platform from South Point. The invoice allegedly submitted to Banco Monex was for $162,000. On that date, Banco Monex allegedly disbursed the funds to a JD Equipment account. 

On Sept. 24, 2012, South Point allegedly submitted to Banco Monex documents for the purchase of a John Deere combine for the total of $197,000, which was disbursed to the JD Equipment. 

On Sept. 26, 2012, JD Equipment allegedly submitted to Banco Monex documents for the purchase of a John Deere combine for the total of $160,000, which was disbursed to the defendant. The suit states JD Equipment submitted several more documents for the purchases of equipment from 2012 to 2013.

The plaintiff alleges that Banco Monex discovered that ownership ties between JD Equipment and South Point were not disclosed in the application process. The bank alleged had it known of this, it would not have approved the transaction.

The suit states that the defendant Urdangarin, the guarantor for JD Equipment, failed to pay back the amount for the nine disbursements. Despite attempts by Banco Monex to negotiate a settlement with the defendants, the defendants allegedly remain in default for $1.3 million.

As a result of the alleged default, the plaintiff claims Banco Monex submitted a claim under an Export-Import Bank of the United States Insurance Policy for $1.3 million. The plaintiff alleges EXIM Bank is an independent agency of the executive branch of the government.

The plaintiff is seeking $4 million in treble damages, a civil penalty of between $5,000 to $11,000 for each false claim, statutory penalties, attorneys' fees, other relief deemed fit. The plaintiff is represented by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Daniel F. Van Horn and John C. Truong in Washington, D.C.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia case number 1:19-CV-01152

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