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Evans Law Corporation v. Burgos

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

October 27, 2017

THE EVANS LAW CORPORATION, APLC, ET AL., Plaintiffs
v.
CESAR R. BURGOS, ET AL. Defendants

          WILKINSON MAG. JUDGE

          ORDER AND REASONS

          KURT D. ENGELHARDT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Presently before the Court is a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b) and (c) that was filed by Defendants, Cesar R. Burgos, The Burgos Law Corporation, APLC, George McGregor, and Robert Daigre (“Defendants” or “the Burgos Defendants”). (Rec. Doc. 104). With their motion, Defendants seek dismissal with prejudice of Count I, Plaintiffs' claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (“RICO”), asserting that Plaintiffs' claims are time-barred and fail as a matter of law under 18 U.S.C. 1961, et seq.; Defendants further request that the Court decline to exercise pendant jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims. (Rec. Doc. 104-1 at p. 1). The motion is opposed by the Plaintiffs, Robert Evans, III and the Evans Law Corporation, APLC (“Plaintiffs”). (Rec. Doc. 113). Defendants filed a reply in support of the motion to dismiss (Rec. Doc. 117), which was followed by Plaintiffs' sur-reply in opposition of dismissal (Rec. Doc. 120).

         Having carefully considered the parties' submissions and the applicable law, IT IS ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Count I of the Fourth Amended Complaint (Rec. Doc. 104) is GRANTED for the reasons stated herein.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File Revised RICO Statement (Rec. Doc. 108) is DENIED AS MOOT.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On July 7, 2016, the Plaintiffs, Robert B. Evans, III (“Mr. Evans”) and the Evans Law Corporation, APLC, commenced this action against the Defendants, Cesar Burgos, Burgos & Associates, The Burgos Law Corporation, APLC, George McGregor, and Robert Daigre in the 24th Judicial District Court in Jefferson Parish.[1] (See Rec. Doc. 1-1). On August 3, 2016, Defendants jointly removed this matter to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana based on Plaintiffs' allegations that Defendants violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. § 1961, et seq. (Rec. Doc. 1).

         In Count I of the Fourth Amended Complaint, [2] filed on May 24, 2017, Plaintiffs allege that Burgos, McGregor, and Daigre-RICO persons pursuant to § 1961(3)-conspired to violate 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) by agreeing to the commission of a pattern of racketeering activity through the law firms of Burgos & Evans and Burgos & Associates (RICO enterprises), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d). (Rec. Doc. 90 at p. 9). Plaintiffs contend that Defendants' schemes involved racketeering acts occurring over more than a three-year period, forming a pattern of racketeering, and resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in income. (Id.).

         Plaintiffs allege that Defendants violated RICO by conspiring to eliminate Mr. Evans from the Burgos & Evans law firm based on the following predicate acts:

1) Conspiracy to Murder Evans in 2012: In 2012, Burgos formed a scheme to cause Evans' death by heavy doses/combination of hormonal drugs [daily growth hormone injections, namely Sermorelin, and weekly testosterone injections] he knew would likely cause him to have a heart attack….Burgos knew Evans had an aorta valve defect. He was hoping the drugs would cause Evans to have a fatal heart attack, which nearly happened.
2) Scheme to Deprive Evans of His share of the Dixie Brewing Settlement and Oust him form the Firm Begins in 2013 and Culminates in 2015: Burgos & Evans had been engaged in the Dixie Brewing case since 2010. By 2013, settlement discussions were underway, and with the attempt to kill him having failed, Burgos began his next scheme to oust Evans from the firm and deprive him of his share of the settlement. This entailed ongoing uses of the federal mail and wires to spread damaging misinformation about Evans to lay the foundation for his removal from the firm for mental unfitness and alleged drug addiction….
3) Scheme to Violate the Settlement Agreement: Burgos and Evans sued each other in Louisiana state court...on or about July 8, 2015, Burgos and Evans purportedly reached a settlement...Burgos has refused to send the first letter [to clients] directed by the judge and the second letter required by the settlement agreement. And he continued to send more emails and letters to [over 500] clients making the same false statements about Evans in violation of the mail and wire fraud statute…Burgos has not complied with a single obligation of his under the Settlement Agreement [including payment of remaining $900, 000 owed to Evans as provided in the Settlement Agreement].
4) Scheme to Cover Up Burgos' Malpractice and Blame Evans: In approximately 2013 or 2014, Evans was hired to represent Mary Washington in a Medical Malpractice case...Burgos asked McGregor to assist Evans in said case...McGregor was assigned the task of drafting an opposition brief challenging the defendants' writ application...Burgos and McGregor failed to file any opposition brief...resulting in the dismissal of that defendant. Rather than tell the client the truth, they caused a letter to be sent to Mary Washington, in Texas, alleging that the failure to file a writ opposition was Evans' fault...This action violation of the mail fraud statute in that it was sent in furtherance of the scheme to harm Evans.

(Rec. Doc. 90 at p. 3-8). Plaintiffs allege that these four schemes “are related in that they were undertaken by Burgos and his later joining co-conspirators [McGregor and Daigre] in order to eliminate Evans from the law firm, take his clients, and deprive him of his 50% shares of revenues ...


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