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Thomas v. Barclays Capital Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division

January 4, 2019

DEUNTAE THOMAS
v.
BARCLAYS CAPITAL INC. ET AL

          HORNSBY MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM RULING

          S. MAURICE HICKS, JR. CHIEF JUDGE

         Before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint (Record Document 10) filed by defendants Barclays Bank Delaware (“Barclays”), Barclays PLC, Barclays Bank PLC, Barclays Capital Inc., Barclays Commercial Mortgage Securities LLC, Barclays Capital Securities LTD, Barclays Dryrock Funding LLC, and Barclays Dryrock Issuance Trust (collectively “Corporate Defendants”). Also before the Court is another Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint (Record Document 11) filed by defendants James Staley, David Henderson, James Gibson, Larry Kravetz, Curt Hess, John Thomas McFarlane, Tushar Morzaria, and Matthew Larson (collectively “Individual Defendants”). Both motions seek dismissal of Plaintiff's claims under F.R.C.P. Rules 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, both motions are GRANTED.

         Also pending before the Court is a Motion to Strike (Record Document 29) filed by Defendants. For the reason stated in Section III of this Memorandum Ruling, the motion is DENIED as moot.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's factual allegations are as follows:

I opened 4 accounts online with Barclays: 2 CD accounts ending in 6878 and 6880 valued at $1, 000, 000 each and two Savings Accounts ending in 6859 and 6861 valued at $250, 000 each on July 11, 2014 using the account at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ending in 5447 with the routing number 0710-0030-1 and received immediate confirmation electronically. On July 14, 2017 I received an email communication stating that the transfers were reversed because the transfers were not accepted by the Federal Reserve bank. In the exhibits that I provide I show that not only did the transfers go through and stick but all payments the Federal Reserve banks process are final and irrevocable. With this knowledge any competent person with this information will reason that since according to the rules for ACH payments that payments take up to two days to settle and once settled the payments are final, irrevocable, and that FedWire will not accept the money it has transferred out. All of this information can easily be found on the Federal Reserve website or by diligent self-search. Going by this information it stands to reason that if any reversals were to occur on day 3 or later of a FedWire transfer then no actual reversal has occurred but fraud and theft by the recipient of the funds from the Federal Reserve. Since this has occurred I have been calling into Barclays trying to speak with a high-level manager to discuss the reasons for the theft [of] the funds from the accounts and closure of these accounts without authorized permission from me. When I do call I get the run around and if/when I speak to a manager I am told that I have committed a scam and that the call will be disconnected immediately. Barclays has put me on their list for scammers and made it to where when I call in I can only speak with the Fraud Department, and now they claim that they have spoken to me on the subject matter and will no longer speak with me. The last time I contacted Barclays I had to call in multiple times, got disconnected multiple times, disrespected by the managers and employees, and told that I was a scammer when I tried to tell the managers that not only do I have evidence that I am in honor but I can show that Barclays took the money, allowed the payment to settle for the maximum time period of two-days, and prove that FedWire states that all of its transactions occur either instantaneously or same day and that these transfers are final, irrevocable, and FedWire will not take these payments back. They have dishonored me by claiming that I'm dealing with a fraudulent transaction.

         Record Document 1 at 5.

         In addition to his factual allegations, Plaintiff attached a number of documents to his complaint as exhibits. See Record Document 1-2. These documents include: screen shots of various web pages, including the web pages of the Federal Reserve, the National Automated Clearinghouse, Wikipedia, and PYMNTS.com; a UCC filing acknowledgment from the California Secretary of State; and email correspondence between Plaintiff and Barclays. With these documents, Plaintiff attempts to show that, “not only did the transfers go through and stick but all payments the Federal Reserve banks process are final and irrevocable.” Record Document 1 at 5.

         Thus, to summarize Plaintiff's factual allegations, Plaintiff opened four bank accounts with Barclays. He then instructed Barclays to request a wire transfer of $2.5 million from an account at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (“Federal Reserve”) apportioned to his four Barclays accounts. Barclays proposed this transfer of funds request, and the Federal Reserve subsequently transferred funds totaling $2.5 million to Plaintiff's Barclay's accounts. After two days, these transfers became “final and irrevocable.” Record Document 1 at 5. Plaintiff then received email correspondence from Barclays stating that “the transfers were reversed because the transfers were not accepted by the Federal Reserve Bank.” Id. However, Plaintiff argues, because the transfer from the Federal Reserve was final and irrevocable at this time, the Federal Reserve would not have accepted any “reversal” of the funds. Therefore, Plaintiff reasons, the money was not actually transferred back to the Federal Reserve but was instead “stolen” by Barclays.

         Plaintiff further alleges that on his attempts to reach out to Barclays, he has been accused of attempting to scam Barclays and has been placed on Barclays' “list of scammers.” Id. Additionally, he claims that his calls have been ignored and that he has been disrespected by the employees and management at Barclays. Based on these facts, Plaintiff filed the current lawsuit seeking relief in the amount of $17, 500, 000. Id.

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         I. Legal Standards

         a. F.R.C.P. 12(b)(2)

         Under F.R.C.P 12(b)(2) a defendant may seek to dismiss the plaintiff's claims against him because personal jurisdiction over that defendant is absent. There is personal jurisdiction if the state's long-arm statute extends to the defendant and the exercise of such jurisdiction is consistent with due process. See Johnston v. Multidata Sys. Int'l Corp., 523 F.3d 602, 609 (5th Cir. 2008). The Louisiana long arm statute extends as far as is permitted by due process. See Patin v. Thoroughbred Power Boats Inc., 294 F.3d 640 (5th Cir. 2002). The exercise of personal jurisdiction over a defendant comports with due process only if (1) the defendant has purposefully availed himself of the benefits and protection of Louisiana by establishing “minimum contacts” with Louisiana and (2) the exercise of personal jurisdiction over the defendant does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. Allred v. Moore & Peterson, 117 F.3d 278, 285 (5th Cir. 1997).

         Personal jurisdiction may be general or specific. General jurisdiction “requires ‘continuous and systematic' forum contacts and allows for jurisdiction over all claims against the defendant, no matter their connection to the forum.” In re DePuy Orthopaedics, Incorporated, Pinnacle Hip Implant Product Liability Litigation, 888 F.3d 753, 778 (5th Cir. 2018) (internal citations omitted). Specific jurisdiction “obtains only where a defendant ‘purposefully directs' his activities toward the state, and the plaintiff's claim ‘arises out of or is related to' the defendant's forum contacts.” Id. (internal citations omitted).

         The plaintiff bears the burden of establishing jurisdiction. See Patterson v. Aker Sols. Inc., 826 F.3d 231, 233 (5th Cir. 2016). If, as here, the court rules on personal jurisdiction without conducting an evidentiary hearing, the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing only a prima facie case of personal jurisdiction. See Quick Techs., Inc. v. Sage Grp. PLC, 313 F.3d 338, 343 (5th Cir. 2002). In determining whether plaintiff has met its burden, the Court “must accept the plaintiff's uncontroverted allegations, and resolve ...


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