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Chile Response

Chile Response

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Published by southfllawyers

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Published by: southfllawyers on Dec 18, 2009
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07/10/2013

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDAMIAMI DIVISIONCASE NO. 09-20612 CIV-GOLD/MCALILEYCONSEJO DE DEFENSA DEL ESTADODE LA REPUBLICA DE CHILE, on behalf of the Republic of Chile,Plaintiff,v.PNC FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP INC.,and PNC BANK, N.A.,Defendants. _____________________________________/
PLAINTIFF’S MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN OPPOSITIONTO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT
Case 1:09-cv-20612-ASG Document 50 Entered on FLSD Docket 11/06/2009 Page 1 of 27
 
CASE NO. 09-20612 CIV-GOLD/MCALILEY
1Plaintiff, Consejo de Defensa del Estado de la República de Chile, on behalf of theRepublic of Chile (“Republic of Chile”),files this Memorandum of Law in Opposition toDefendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint [D.E. 39].
I.INTRODUCTION
The Republic of Chile seeks damages from PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., ("PNCFinancial") and PNC Bank, N.A., ("PNC Bank") (collectively, "PNC" or "Defendants") assuccessor in interest to the Riggs National Bank of Washington D.C. ("Riggs Washington") andRiggs International Banking Corporation ("Riggs Miami"), (collectively, “Riggs”) becauseDefendants are liable for millions in damages to the Republic of Chile PNC seeks to dismiss theSecond Amended Complaint because it contends that the action is either time barred or fails tomeet the statutory elements for a civil RICO action. Both arguments fail and the motion should be denied.
II.MEMORANDUM OF LAWA. T
HE
EAL
S
TORY
PNC disingenuously argues that Riggs was nothing more than a simple bankinginstitution implementing the instructions of its clients. PNC would like for this Court to believethat it was nothing more than an innocent bystander, hoodwinked by the cunning Pinochet. Todo so, one would have to ignore the glaring truth: Riggs and its officers, both in WashingtonD.C. and Miami, knowingly and deliberately engaged in the management and operation of amoney laundering scheme with the Pinochet Enterprise. In order to increase the capital andstature of the bank, Riggs officials went to great lengths to court Pinochet and broke numerousU.S. banking and regulatory laws in the process of entering his inner circle of comrades. Thereality is that, together with Pinochet, Riggs looted the Chilean treasury and operated a highly
Case 1:09-cv-20612-ASG Document 50 Entered on FLSD Docket 11/06/2009 Page 2 of 27
 
CASE NO. 09-20612 CIV-GOLD/MCALILEY
2successful money laundering scheme that resulted in the Republic of Chile's loss of nearly $11million dollars.Riggs served as long-standing personal banker for Pinochet and actively and knowinglyassisted him in the concealment and movement of funds derived from specified unlawfulactivity. Riggs opened at least 28 accounts for Pinochet, his family, cohorts and other individuals and corporations under his direct control. Riggs accepted millions of dollars indeposits from Pinochet and the Pinochet-controlled accounts without any inquiry into the sourceof these funds. Riggs set up offshore shell corporations to disguise Pinochet's ownership of theseaccounts and even altered the names of his personal accounts to further conceal Pinochet'sownership of foreign bank accounts from Chile.Riggs studiously and consciously avoided usingthe name "Pinochet" in account documents and initiated "hold mail" instructions for both personal and corporate accounts.It is the height of irony that Riggs would argue that its conduct with Pinochet is notactionable. Riggs' conduct spawned two lengthy Senate reports directed at its money launderingactivities andpled guilty to criminal conduct involving failure to comply with bank laws. It is, inessence, the poster child for bank money laundering. Money laundering is, of course, a specifiedunlawful activity for purposes of RICO. It is difficult to imagine a more compelling case for RICO liability based on money laundering than the Riggs case.We are dismayed that counsel for PNC would raise the earlier sending of a Rule 11 letter to predecessor counsel. That letter was directed at the initial complaint, a pleading that has longsince been withdrawn (although it was withdrawn for reasons wholly unrelated to anything in theletter). No subsequent letters have been received and we would not expect to receive one, giventhe overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing by the bank. We understand that Rule 11 letters are
Case 1:09-cv-20612-ASG Document 50 Entered on FLSD Docket 11/06/2009 Page 3 of 27

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