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Bankart v. Ho

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

November 14, 2014

ALAN J. BANKART, Plaintiff,
v.
JIN W. HO, JEANNETTE LING HO, and EDGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT I, LLC, Defendants

Page 243

For Alan J Bankart, Plaintiff: James Robert Davis, LEAD ATTORNEY, J. Davis Law Firm, P.C., Charleston, SC.

For Jin W. Ho, Jeannette Ling Ho, Edge Capital Management I, LLC, Defendants: Mark C. Hansen, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd Evans & Figel, PLLC, Washington, DC.

Page 244

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS OR TO STAY

F. Dennis Saylor IV, United States District Judge.

This case involves an alleged breach of contract by defendants Jin W. Ho, Jeannette Ling Ho, and Edge Capital Management I, LLC. Plaintiff Alan J. Bankart contends that defendants failed to pay a promissory note that they executed and delivered as part of a settlement from a suit adjudicated in the Arizona Superior Court.

Plaintiff has sued for breach of contract and common law fraud as a result of defendants' failure to pay the note. On May 9, 2014, defendants moved to dismiss or stay this action pending proceedings in the Arizona Superior Court. For the following reasons, the case will be stayed as to Jin Ho and Jeannette Ho, who have filed for

Page 245

bankruptcy. The motion will otherwise be denied.

I. Background

At some point, Alan J. Bankart invested approximately $2 million in Edge Capital Management I, LLC, a company that was managed by Jin W. Ho. Edge Capital is now defunct. On May 12, 2009, Bankart sued Jin Ho, Jeannette Ho, and Edge Capital in the Arizona Superior Court alleging various acts of wrongdoing in connection with that investment. (Def. Mot. Ex. A). The parties settled that case in early 2010. (Def. Mot. Ex. B). As part of the settlement, defendants executed and delivered a note promising to pay Bankart $1,907,500 in periodic payments, beginning with a $50,000 installment on December 31, 2010. Def. Mot. Ex. C). The Arizona Superior Court accordingly entered a judgment in favor of Bankart for the sum of $1,907,500 on March 10, 2010. (Pl. Opp. Ex. A).

Bankart contends that on December 31, 2010, defendants failed to pay the installment due on the note. (Bankart Aff. ¶ 10). On March 15, 2012, Bankart filed pleadings in the Arizona Superior Court seeking a debtor examination for the limited purpose of determining defendants' assets and ability to pay. (Def. Mot. Ex. F).

On March 12, 2014, Bankart brought the present action for breach of contract and fraud, demanding $1,907,500, along with interest and attorneys' fees. (Dkt. 1). On May 9, 2014, defendants moved for dismissal or a stay on the ground that the dispute should be settled in the Arizona Superior Court. (Dkt. 5).

On May 20, 2014, the scheduled date of the debtor examination, Jin Ho and Jeannette Ho filed a Chapter 11 voluntary bankruptcy petition in the United States Bankruptcy ...


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