Closing a case that U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth has said reads "straight out of a Hollywood script — or at least a second-rate mystery novel," Lamberth today dismissed (PDF) a lawsuit against two Bahamas-based companies accused of conspiring to hide a $14 million offshore bank account.
A Las Vegas woman, Tonya Day, had accused a Bahamanian bank and law firm of covering up the existence of a $14 million account that Day claims belonged to her now-deceased mother.
Lamberth dismissed the case because it had no ties to Washington. Setting aside judgment on the merits of the case, Lamberth wrote, “the District of Columbia has no role to play in a dispute pitting a Nevada citizen against a Swiss bank and its Bahamas-based subsidiary, manager and law firm.”
Day filed suit in August 2010 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against The Cornèr Bank (Overseas) Ltd. and the law firm Graham Thompson. Day claimed that her mother, shortly before she died in a car accident, spoke of a $14 million account at a "corner bank" and noted that account numbers were printed on a sticker on the back of a painting in her possession.
Day claimed that when she found The Cornèr Bank in Nassau, she was told no such account existed. She also claimed she hired a Nassau-based firm, Graham Thompson, only to learn later that the firm was representing the bank at the time.
In dismissing the case on a question of jurisdiction, Lamberth won’t have to decide whether – in his own words – “Ms. Day may be a helpless victim tilting against powerful and shadowy international banking forces, or, as a Las Vegas resident, may be simply drawing blind, hoping to come up Aces.”
Day is being represented by George Lambert of the Law Office of Leonard Suchanek in Washington, who declined to comment. Cornèr Bank attorney Mark MacDougall of Washington’s Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld did not immediately return a request for comment. Graham Thompson’s attorney, Hogan Lovells’ Albert Turnbull, also declined to comment.