The Art of Communication News

Federal Court Rulings Favor Larkins Vacura Kayser Clients in American Eagle Mortgage Class Action

September 14, 2023

On September 5, 2023, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeff Armistead recommended that the court rule in favor of Larkins Vacura Kayser’s investor clients on two separate motions in Diane Anderson et al. v. Davis Wright Tremaine et al., No. 3:20-cv-01194-AR (U.S. District Court, Oregon). Larkins Vacura Kayser attorneys Christopher J. Kayser and John Rake, in conjunction with Esler, Stephens & Buckley attorneys Michael Esler and John Stephens, represent seven plaintiffs who seek to represent a class of Oregon investors in real estate securities promoted and managed by American Equities, American Eagle Mortgage Management, Ross Miles, and Maureen Wile. The American Equities operation functioned as a Ponzi scheme, using new investments to pay earlier investors and hide losses.

Judge Armistead recommended approval of a settlement agreement under which defendant Davis Wright Tremaine will pay $4.5 million to investors. Davis Wright Tremaine, which was counsel to American Equities, drafted legal documents related to the securities sales, which investors say increased the credibility of the opportunity. Judge Armistead also recommended that the court deny Motions to Dismiss filed by defendants Pacific Premiere Bank and Riverview Bank, finding that the Oregon federal court has personal jurisdiction over the banks and that the plaintiffs’ Second Amended Complaint states a claim for participation and material aid under the Oregon Securities Law.

These opinions are a significant step forward in the case, in which the LVK team seeks to recover statutory damages, interest, and attorney fees available under the Oregon Securities Law from the remaining defendants. More information on the settlement with Davis Wright Tremaine is available from ABAJournal, Reuters, and Bloomberg Law.