Citizens Bank had no role in lawyer’s fraud, SJC says

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The Supreme Judicial Court on Monday ruled that Citizens Bank had no responsibility in a fraud committed more than a decade ago by former Boston defense attorney Morris M. Goldings.
The decision upheld a lower court’s dismissal of most of the claims brought by Go-Best Assets Ltd., a Hong Kong company that lost $5 million in the scheme. The state’s highest court also reversed two remaining claims the company had made against Citizens, ruling that, “There is no evidence that the bank actively participated in or substantially assisted in any fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or conversion committed by Goldings against Go-Best.”
Goldings was a high-profile First Amendment lawyer in Boston at one time, defending owners of strip clubs and adult film houses in the downtown area formerly known as the Combat Zone. He was convicted in 2002 of stealing $17 million from his firm’s clients and sentenced to three years in federal prison, and three years’ probation. The firm, Mahoney, Hawkes & Goldings, went out of business, and Goldings was disbarred.
Go-Best sued in a civil case, alleging that Citizens had some responsibility for the $5 million lost at the hands of Goldings. According to Go-Best, Citizens was negligent in the matter because it knew that Goldings was bouncing checks in his account with the bank and should have known that he was misappropriating client funds.
But the high court ruled that there was “no evidence in the record to support a reasonable inference that Citizens Bank had actual knowledge that Goldings had been misappropriating funds.”
A lawyer for Citizens Bank declined to comment. Goldings’s lawyer could not be reached for comment.

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Citizens Bank had no role in lawyer’s fraud, SJC says

  1. 1. TYLER GROUP Ihr Logo
  2. 2. Citizens Bank had no role in lawyer’s fraud, SJC saysThe Supreme Judicial Court on Monday ruled that Citizens Bank had noresponsibility in a fraud committed more than a decade ago by formerBoston defense attorney Morris M. Goldings. Your Logo
  3. 3. The decision upheld a lower court’s dismissal of most of the claimsbrought by Go-Best Assets Ltd., a Hong Kong company that lost $5million in the scheme. The state’s highest court also reversed tworemaining claims the company had made against Citizens, ruling that,“There is no evidence that the bank actively participated in orsubstantially assisted in any fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, orconversion committed by Goldings against Go-Best.” Your Logo
  4. 4. Goldings was a high-profile First Amendment lawyer in Boston at onetime, defending owners of strip clubs and adult film houses in thedowntown area formerly known as the Combat Zone. He was convicted in2002 of stealing $17 million from his firm’s clients and sentenced to threeyears in federal prison, and three years’ probation. The firm, Mahoney,Hawkes & Goldings, went out of business, and Goldings was disbarred. Your Logo
  5. 5. Go-Best sued in a civil case, alleging that Citizens had some responsibilityfor the $5 million lost at the hands of Goldings. According to Go-Best,Citizens was negligent in the matter because it knew that Goldings wasbouncing checks in his account with the bank and should have knownthat he was misappropriating client funds. Your Logo
  6. 6. But the high court ruled that there was “no evidence in the record tosupport a reasonable inference that Citizens Bank had actual knowledgethat Goldings had been misappropriating funds.”A lawyer for Citizens Bank declined to comment. Goldings’s lawyer couldnot be reached for comment. Your Logo

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