Did a local Bank and Graham Thompson and CO. hid $14M from the daughter of a deceased woman?

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US Court Judge Royce Lamberth

In a case that reads “straight out of a Hollywood script — or at least a second-rate mystery novel,” according to one Washington judge, two Bahamas-based companies are seeking dismissal of lawsuit that accuses them of conspiring to hide a $14 million offshore bank account.

Tonya Day, a Las Vegas resident, filed suit in August 2010 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against The Cornèr Bank (Overseas) Ltd. and law firm Graham Thompson. Day claimed that her mother, shortly before she died in a car accident, spoke of a $14 million account at a “corner bank” and noted that account numbers were printed on a sticker on the back of a painting in her possession.

Day alleges that when she tracked down Cornèr Bank in Nassau, she was told no such account existed. She claims she hired a Nassau-based firm, Graham Thompson, only to learn later on that the firm was also representing the bank at the time.

Graham Thompson filed a motion to dismiss (PDF) yesterday and Cornèr Bank filed its motion to dismiss (PDF) today. Both companies argue that there is no jurisdiction for the case to proceed in Washington.

Day is being represented by George Lambert of the Law Office of Leonard Suchanek in Washington, who declined to comment. Cornèr Bank is being represented by Mark MacDougall and Lauren Kerwin of Washington’s Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and Graham Thompson is being represented by Hogal Lovells’ Albert Turnbull and Shardul Desai; they also declined to comment.

In a previous ruling (PDF) earlier this month denying a motion to dismiss based on how the complaint was served and a motion for sanctions, Chief Judge Royce Lambert wrote that Day’s complaint (PDF) “details a sordid affair straight out of a Hollywood script—or at least a second-rate mystery novel.”

Day claims that her mother’s long-time romantic partner had set aside money in a bank account with funds from his various investments in an oil business. According to the complaint, Day said her mother revealed the Nassau account to her in 2006 because she “had a premonition of dying soon and wished to reveal to her something.”

Several months later, Day’s mother was killed by a drunk driver before she could give Day any more details or provide documentation; Day doesn’t mention the existence of a will. Day found the numbers printed on the back of the painting her mother had told her about and tracked down the Cornèr Bank in Nassau.

A bank official told Day that such an account didn’t exist, so she hired Graham Thompson to help her pursue the claim. Graham Thompson had unrelated business with the bank, and notes in its motion to dismiss that it withdrew as counsel several days later.

In addition to arguing for dismissal on the grounds that the case has no ties to Washington, Cornèr Bank has repeatedly denied that the account exists.

BLT is the blog of the Legal Times, an affiliate of the Daily Business Review.

13 COMMENTS

  1. This case is weak one. Unless the complainant can verift that such an acount exist, she have no leg to stand on. There might be some truth to this story and might not be. There is desperation here and we need to look into this matter with a magnifying glass. Only her mother friend (if he is alive) and possibly the central bank of the bahamas can substantiate this case. If the complainant have no other evidance, she is fighting a loosing battle. There is no juristation on this matter other than the Bahamas or where the Bank HQ exist.

  2. LET’S BE REAL HERE
    Money talks in the Bahamas and like sharks are drawn to blood Bahamians are too drawn to the all mighty dollar. The legal system is in complete shambles from the top to the bottom. Corruption is ripping the country apart at the seams.

    Right now the battle is for those who have “real world” sense and those who have been brained washed by the O’le Boy network (The System). There is no such thing as Justice in the Bahamas. My family (father) was also taken for millions by the Bahamian Government and trying to resolve the issue was the standard result of a cluster **ck in a system that really does not give a darn.

    At the core of this collapse is TRUST and right so many generations have experienced getting screwed in one way or the other that Bahamians work from a stand point of “… I better get them before dey gets me”.

    Aint’ no shame in their game because they can clearly ask “who ga check me boo?” No Accountability what so ever!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Alot of these lawyers are in a free mason or some club that can say or get things done for them,so their clients get the upper hand,the banks a now an association(BACH)so I am of the view that they got around the banking secrecy laws,it’s an easy view to hold,so it’s much easier for these lawyers and the bank to get at you for whatever the reason.A question:How could a bank get due deligence from a lawyer(for house or property)then come to know you don’t really own it?I have been told by a lawyer that when a case is to come up at times, they will write/send an associate to the judge to say they sick or of the island and will be back in such a such etc,there are to many lawyers,and I suspect the majority are desperadoes,willing to sell their ma or pa for quick cash.I have a lawyer friend that got a degree and is called to the bar,and can barely get on by,guest what they are living in the UK,so I ma judging whats happening here,muddos…

  4. Why did it take months for her mother to relate to her that she had this money in the bank. When the mother first brought it to the daughter’s attention how difficult was it for the mother to give her all of the information at once. That story doesn’t make sense.

    The amount, the name of the bank, the account number, where documents could be found and the account officer………… That takes less than 5 minutes.

  5. Such funds unclaimed in a bank account would automatically got to the state. We wonder if the bank has forwarded the funds to the state, and if not why not? This would be something of interest for the Minister of Finance.

    BP

  6. The Bahamas judicial system and lawyers are all thieves! On a separate issue, my father who migrated 40 years to America was notified that his properties in Nassau (at least 50+ acres – behind Kingsway Academy School)were being reacquired via the Quieting Act.
    I then contacted a prominent lawyer for advice who later was appointed a few years later as aSupreme Court judge – The now judge, is said to be owner of my dad’s land! (Also my dad’s files in the Supreme Court went missing!)

    I am a Bahamian, living in Europe but can tell you one thing, I indeed have a love/hate relationship with the Bahamas!

    • @Tar Baby..You appears to have an issue with the Country as a whole,you are not the only person/s that sh@t happens to here, we just need the right people(not lawyers in politics)in place.I am on a one man crusade,trying to convinced those people around me, to not get seriously hooked on lawyers coming to the House,they WILL NOT effectively makes changes to the system(it will effect their rogue ways of living)so better to elect,civic leaders,some pastors,more business people,and person who you feel have a Nationalistic view.It has proven over when a person is a Nationalist like me (except core and dangerous view like Hitler)most of the time we want the better for our Country.I have have dealing with tiefing lawyers,and I am so tired of the bullshit,how could a lawyer go to court and tell the judge what date/time to hear their view,or why must all transaction( money borrowed banking,divorce,buying a house,etc)have to go through a lawyer?How many people money got in escrow at a law firm to see it dwindled or run around for your money?It’s crazy here we NEED HELP!!

  7. They lockin’ folks up for a spliff while these goons are tiefin’ their way straight to Lyford Cay! I told y’all the silent types are the most dangerous – now ya know! SMDT! Off with their heads, yo!

  8. Now we could tell something is fishy here. Bahamas Press advises Mrs Day to find three dangerous lawyers IMMEDIATELY to file papers in the Supreme Court of the Bahamas!

    BP

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