A court in the United States has dismissed a civil legal case filed against a unit of Philippine-based casino developer Bloomberry Resorts Corp. The case against Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc was related to the February 2016 theft online – reportedly involving US$81 million – of cash from Bangladesh’s central bank.
In a Monday filing, the parent company said that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act (RICO) claim filed in a U.S. court by the Bangladesh Bank “has been ordered dismissed”. The lawsuit had named a number of Philippine individuals and companies, including Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels.
Bloomberry Resorts controls the Solaire Resort and Casino in the Philippine capital, Manila. It was reported at the time of the heist – allegedly conducted via an account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the U.S., held by the Bank of Bangladesh – that the money was diverted to four accounts at a Rizal Commercial Banking Corp branch in Makati, Metro Manila. At least part of the funds was later reportedly moved to several Philippine casinos, where they mostly disappeared.
The civil legal case had been filed in January 2019 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit also named Rizal Commercial Banking among the defendants.
On Monday, Bloomberry Resorts said in a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange: “In an opinion and order dated 20 March 2020, the United States District Court, Southern District of New York granted defendants’ joint motion to dismiss for failure to state a RICO claim or RICO conspiracy claim.”
The parent company added: “The court further declined to exercise its supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims.”
Bloomberry said the civil case was filed by Bangladesh’s central bank in a bid to collect the amount it allegedly lost to hackers. The RICO Act allows parties to go after organised syndicates, covering financial crimes like wire fraud and money laundering.
The court however denied the defendants’ other joint motions to dismiss the case “based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction” and suggesting another more suitable forum.
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