MIAMI (February 6, 2013) — International law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP has won a favorable ruling from the Florida Supreme Court in favor of Firm client CDR Creances, a French government instrumentality, in its high-profile fraud case against former developers Maurice and Leon Cohen.
CDR's Florida team, lead by McDermott partner Marcos Daniel Jimenez, achieved the recovery of six valuable Miami real estate properties worth at least $85 million from the Cohens after they absconded with the proceeds of a loan made by a failed French bank. The trial court issued final judgment awarding the properties to CDR in January 2011 after striking the Cohens' pleadings due to their perjury, subornation of perjury and obstruction of justice during the litigation. The Cohens, who are currently serving 10 years in federal prison for tax fraud, had been seeking to reverse the trial court’s order.
“We are delighted with the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of our client since it puts to rest the Cohens' efforts to deny CDR its rightful recovery of the Florida properties,” said Mr. Jimenez, who served from 2002 to 2005 as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. “The Cohens created a complex scheme to defraud CDR and then covered up their fraud by perverting our system of justice. They have fought our client at every step and their greed seems to have no limits, even behind bars. This is a satisfying victory and will go a long way towards compensating CDR for the Cohens' wrongs.”
The Florida Supreme Court's decision allows CDR to proceed with the sale of the Miami properties, including the valuable development site at 330 Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami, the "Whitehall" mansion on "Millionaire's Row" in Miami Beach, a showcase luxury condominium on exclusive Fisher Island, and the Maclee Quarters Building in South Beach. Inquiries about the properties should be directed to CDR's broker, Grant Savage of Pointe Group Advisors. The residential properties can be viewed at www.5930NorthBayRoad.com and www.7213fisherislanddrive.com.
In addition to Mr. Jimenez, the trial team included co-counsel Scott Cosgrove, with the firm of Leon Cosgrove. Lauri Ross, of Ross and Girten, served as appellate co-counsel to CDR. Douglas Kellner of Kellner, Herlihy Getty & Friedman in New York and Stephen Weiner, Esq. provided valuable assistance as lead counsel for CDR handling parallel actions against the Cohens and their companies in New York.
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McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,100 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Further extending our reach into Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.