=== ΣΥΜΒΑΙΝΕΙ ΚΑΙ ΣΤΙΣ ΚΑΛΥΤΕΡΕΣ ΣΙΩΝΙΣΤΙΚΕΣ ΠΛΟΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΙΚΕΣ ΟΙΚΟΓΕΝΕΙΕΣ, ΑΛΛΑ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΚΡΙΜΑ ΝΑ ΠΕΡΙΜΕΝΟΥΜΕ ΚΑΘΕ ΦΟΡΑ, ΤΟ ΠΟΤΕ ΘΑ ΒΓΑΛΟΥΝ ΟΙ ΑΡΧΙΣΙΩΝΙΣΤΕΣ ΜΕΤΑΞΥ ΤΟΥΣ ΤΑ ΜΑΤΙΑ ΤΟΥΣ, ΓΙΑ ΝΑ ΔΟΥΜΕ ΑΣΠΡΗ ΜΕΡΑ.
=== Το ΣΔΟΕ, μπορεί να πρωτοξεκίνησε σαν ΥΠΕΔΑ (Υπηρεσία Ελέγχου Διακίνησης Αγαθών) από τον αδικημένο Δημήτρη Τσοβόλα, όμως ο Αλέκος Παπαδόπουλος ήταν αυτός που το 1997 έδωσε τη τελική του μορφή, για να λειτουργήσει μια ελεγκτική υπηρεσία στα πρότυπα των αντίστοιχων, προηγμένων χωρών τηε Ευρώπης και της Αμερικής. Όμως η πλάκα είναι, ότι ο και ο Αλέκος Παπαδόπουλος φαγώθηκε περίεργα και κάθε τόσο έφαγε άγριο δούλεμα για ….ηγετική αξιοποίησή του, καλά θα κάνουν όσοι έχουν τα μέσα και τα σχετικά αρχεία, να τα ξεσκονίσουνμ μήπως και βγάλουν διαβολικές συμπτώσεις, διότι τα πρώτα χρόνια, το ΣΔΟΕ λειτούργησε καλά και οπωσδήποτε το 2000 δεν είχε τη διάβρωση που βλέπουμε δια γυμνού οφθαλμού, δώδεκα χρόνια μετά!!!! Βρωμάει πλέον και ο Αλέκος στα αζήτητα!!!…..
=== Αφού μάθαμε για το άστρο του Δαβίδ στο πρόσωπο του Sabby Mionis, μαθαίνουμε «ξαφνικά» ότι υπάρχουν διάφορα δικόγραφα, με πρωταγωνιστή τον Sabby Mionis, αλλού ως μηνυτή και αλλού ως εναγόμενο, σε σοβαρές και οικονομικές υποθέσεις. Από ένα Δικόγραφο λοιπόν, Δικαστηρίου της Νέας Υόρκης του 2003, στο οποίο είχε προσφύγει ο Sabby Mionis, μαθαίνω και γουρλώνουν τα μάτια μου, ότι ο περί ου ο λόγος αστέρας του Δαβίδ, ΜΕΤΑ ΑΠΟ ΚΑΤΑΓΓΕΛΙΑ, ΤΟ ΣΔΟΕ ΣΥΝΟΔΕΥΟΜΕΝΟ ΑΠΟ ΕΝΟΠΛΟΥΣ!!!! ΑΣΤΥΝΟΜΙΚΟΥΣ, ΕΚΑΝΕ ….ΕΠΙΔΡΟΜΗ ΣΤΑ ΓΡΑΦΕΙΑ ΠΟΥ ΕΙΧΕ Ο SABBY MIONIS ΣΤΗΝ ΑΘΗΝΑ ΚΑΙ ΤΟΥ ΚΑΤΑΣΧΕΣΑΝ ΤΑ ΠΑΝΤΑ!!!!
=== ΤΙ ΕΛΕΓΕ Η ΚΑΤΑΓΓΕΛΙΑ??? Ότι ο Sabby Mionis έκανε ξέπλυμα μαύρου και πολιτικού χρήματος με ΣΥΓΚΕΚΡΙΜΕΝΕΣ offshore εταιρείες funds of funds, με έδρα στα νησιά Grand Cayman!!! Εκεί ο αστέρας του Δαβίδ, Sabby Mionis, σε συνεργασία με εβραιοελβετική τράπεζα είχε στήσει παραμάγαζα για διαχείριση καταμαυρων και πολιτικών χρημάτων από το 1998 αλλά η σιωνιστική μπίζνα ξεπλύματος χάλασε το καλοκαίρι του 2000, για να γίνει το μεγάλο κάρφωμα στο ΣΔΟΕ, τον Δεκέμβρη του 2000!!!
=== Βεβαίως και έχουμε μάθει, ότι ο μπαμπάς Χαΐμ Μιόνης είναι κώλος και βρακί με τον Σιμόν Πέρες, αλλά από το δικόγραφο που έφτασε στον Μπαρμπανίκο ΟΛΟΚΛΗΡΟ, μαθαίνουμε ΕΓΓΥΗΜΕΝΑ, ότι ο Sabby Mionis, είναι προστατεύομενος του αρχισιωνιστή Μωϋσή Κωνσταντίνη, τότε προέδρου του Κεντρικού Ισραηλιτικού Συμβουλίου (Κ.Ι.Σ.) Ελλάδας, ο οποίος για να στηρίξει τους ισχυρισμούς του Sabby Mionis και να διεξαχθεί η άσχετη με τους Αμερικάνους, δίκη στην Αμερική, έστειλε στο Δικαστήριο της Νέας Υόρκης ένορκη δήλωση, με την οποία ξέχεζε τους Έλληνες Δικαστές και τους κατηγορούσε ότι…. διακατέχονται από αντισημιτικά αισθήματα!!!!
Αν μελετήσουμε προσεκτικά το δικόγραφο, αβίαστα θα βγάλουμε το συμπέρασμα, ότι υπάρχουν διαπλεκόμενοι κρίκοι κατόχων και διαχειριστών μαύρου χρήματος, μεταξύ Ισραήλ, Ελλάδας και Ελβετίας, με ΕΙΚΟΝΙΚΕΣ γραφειοκρατικές διεκπεραιώσεις τακτοποίησης, σε τριτοκοσμικές «χώρες» σαν τα Grand Cayman!!!
SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF NEW YORK: IAS PART 56
=== SABBY H. MIONIS and CAPITAL
MANAGEMENT ADVISORS LTD., Index No. 604471/01
BANK JULIUS BAER & CO., LTD., JULIUS
BAER TRUST COMPANY (CAYMAN) LTD.,
PETER EMBIRICOS and THEODORE GONEOUS,
RICHARD B. LOWE, III, J:
Defendants Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd. (Bank JB), Julius Baer Trust Company (Cayman) Ltd. (JB Cayman), Peter Embiricos (Embiricos) and Theodore Goneous (Goneous) move, pursuant to CPLR 327 and 3211 (a) (7), for an order dismissing plaintiffs, Sabby H. Mionis= (Mionis) and Capital Management Advisors Ltd.=s (Capital Management), amended complaint.
This is an action for libel, tortious interference with existing and prospective contractual relations, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Mionis is a citizen of Greece and the founder of T.C. Advisors, Ltd. (TC Advisors), the predecessor-in-interest to Capital Management. Capital Management, a Bahamian corporation with its principal place of business in Geneva, Switzerland and Luxembourg, is in the business of providing management services to a group of open-ended mutual funds, set up at the direction of Mionis for his clients.
Defendant Bank JB is a Swiss bank with numerous branch offices, including a branch office in New York (Bank JB New York). One of the services Bank JB offers customers is what is known as a ?private label fund.? This service permits an independent investment manager to manage a pooled fund of investors= assets in a Bank JB account. Defendant JB Cayman, an affiliate of JB Bank, has its principal place of business in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, and provides services for Bank JB clients. Although both of these entities offer investment funds of their own, the Private Label Fund services generate revenues for Bank JB by providing third-party investment managers, such as CMA, with many of the administrative and ?back office? services necessary to the management of investment funds.
Both Bank JB and JB Cayman are wholly owned subsidiaries of a Swiss holding company, Julius Baer Holding Ltd. Defendants Embiricos and Goneos were, until recently, employees in the private banking and investment fund business for Bank JB. They were also the account officers at Bank JB New York who were involved in the business relationship at issue herein between plaintiffs and Bank JB.
THE AMENDED COMPLAINT
Plaintiffs allege that, in or about April 1998, after being persuaded by Embiricos and Goneous that TC Advisors should partner with Bank JB New York, Mionis and T.C. Advisors entered into an oral partnership agreement with Bank JB and JB Cayman. Pursuant to this agreement, Bank JB New York and JB Cayman established two offshore funds of funds (the Funds). These Funds, known as TC Investment Ltd. and TC Multi-Hedge Ltd., were established as separate legal entities and organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands. Custodial bank accounts for the Funds were opened at Bank JB New York.
Bank JB New York, together with its affiliate, Julius Baer Securities, served as custodian, banker and broker to the Funds, assisted in the formation of the Funds, and collected and maintained the assets of the Funds. JB Cayman served as the administrator, transfer agent and registrar of the Funds, providing back office services for the Funds, including processing the Funds= subscriptions, financial records, and monthly statements. Mionis and T.C. Advisors, as the investment advisors to the Funds, were responsible for identifying and purchasing investments.
Plaintiffs allege that once the Funds were set up, tensions developed between the parties due to, among other things, Bank JB New York=s attempts to persuade Mionis that his clients would be better served if Mionis and his company became a marketing agent for the Bank, instead of an investment advisor for the Funds, and would permit Bank JB New York to manage and advise the Funds.
Mionis allegedly rejected these proposals. He contends that based upon, inter alia, his dissatisfaction with JB Cayman=s work as the Funds= administrator, Bank JB New York=s attempts to steal Mionis= clients, and his dissatisfaction with the Julius Baer Group in general, he terminated the partnership between TC Advisors and the Julius Baer entities in writing, effective July 31, 2000.
Mionis claims that subsequent to his terminating the partnership with the Julius Baer entities, a defamatory letter was sent by defendants to the Greek authorities falsely accusing plaintiffs and certain of their customers of being ?Greek money-launderers.? The letter, which was on Julius Baer letterhead, was unsigned, but contained the name of ?Ch Farrington?, the head of JB Cayman. The letter stated that all of ?[the money launderers] have an account with TC Investment in the Cayman Islands,? which accounts are managed by plaintiffs. Attached to the letter was a partial printout of certain investors of the Funds, which included six Greek individual investors.
The amended complaint states that, as a result of the letter, on December 19, 2000, the Greek Economic Crime Prosecution Corps (ΣΔΟΕ) conducted an armed raid of Mionis= office, and confiscated, among other things, all of Mionis= business records pertaining to the Funds, and to TC Advisors= relationship with the Julius Baer entities. Mionis claims that he and his counsel were told by one of the investigating officers that Mionis and his clients ?were suspected of conducting a Jewish money laundering scheme.? Mionis contends that those of his clients who were prominent and of Jewish heritage, were the primary focus of the authorities= investigation. Plaintiffs were ultimately exonerated by the Greek authorities of any wrongdoing.
Plaintiffs claim that, upon information and belief, Embiricos and Goneos, acting either on their own, or on behalf of Bank JB New York, conspired with JB Cayman to send the defamatory letter to the Greek authorities in order to destroy Mionis= reputation, and to force Mionis and his investment company, Capital Management, out of business. Mionis maintains that defendants= actions were in retaliation for Mionis= decision to terminate the Julius Baer entities= involvement with the Funds. Plaintiffs allege that defendants= actions resulted in significant harm to Mionis= health, and to his company=s reputation and financial well-being. The alleged conspiracy to send the defamatory letter to the Greek authorities forms the basis for the causes of action asserted, i.e., defamation, tortious interference with ongoing and prospective contractual relations, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
MOTION TO DISMISS BASED UPON FORUM NON CONVENIENS
Pursuant to CPLR 327(a), a court has the flexibility to stay or dismiss an action on forum non conveniens grounds upon a motion of any party, ?[w]hen the court finds that in the interest of substantial justice the action should be heard in another forum? (CPLR 327[a]; National Bank & Trust Co. Of North America, Ltd. v Banco De Vizcaya, 72 NY2d 1005 ). The application of this doctrine ?should turn on considerations of justice, fairness and convenience and not solely on the residence of one of the parties? (Silver v Great American Ins. Co., 29 NY2d 356, 361 ).
The party challenging the forum has the burden of demonstrating that, after taking into account the facts and circumstances of the particular case, and balancing several competing factors, the action would be better adjudicated elsewhere (Islamic Republic of Iran v Pahlavi, 62 NY2d 474, 479 )).
Although no one factor is controlling, some of the most important factors to be considered are: ?the burden on the New York courts, the potential hardship to the defendant, and the unavailability of an alternative forum in which plaintiff may bring suit [citations omitted]? (The Islamic Republic of Iran v Pahlava, 62 NY2d at 479).
Defendants argue that this case should be dismissed because Greece, and not New York, is the appropriate forum for this action. They contend that Greece is the locus of the relevant events complained of in the complaint, i.e, the alleged defamatory letter was sent to Greece, and received in Greece, by the Greek authorities; the criminal investigation occurred in Greece; and the damage to plaintiffs= reputation occurred in Greece.
Defendants further claim that they will suffer undue hardship if they are forced to litigate this action in New York, because the bulk of the witnesses and documents are located in Greece where the events occurred. For example, they claim that most of the evidence is in Greece – in the possession of the Greek authorities. They contend that the defendants will need to obtain evidence from the Greek authorities concerning the investigation; that they will have to obtain evidence in Greece regarding plaintiffs= reputation, both before and after the publication of the letter; and that they will require evidence regarding the impact of the investigation on plaintiffs= Greek clients, and the impact on the relationship between plaintiffs and their clients.
Defendants argue, moreover, that plaintiffs fail to allege any facts in the complaint connecting Bank JB New York, Embiricos, or Goneos to the subject letter. They point out that all of the allegations connecting these defendants to the letter are made ?upon information and belief.?
They also argue that litigating this action in New York would impose an undue burden on this court because this court would have to supervise third-party discovery through letters rogatory, that the process would be very difficult and, that they won=t be able to call these Greek witnesses at trial if the trial proceeds in New York. Further, they note that, inasmuch as this is a tort action, this court would likely apply Greek law, since Greece is the jurisdiction where the torts allegedly occurred. Finally, defendants maintain that Greece offers an adequate alternative forum, and that they are willing to submit to jurisdiction in the Greek courts.
Plaintiffs argue, inter alia, that defendants are estopped from now claiming that New York is an inconvenient forum, since they previously moved to compel arbitration of this action in New York. Plaintiffs also argue that New York is the most appropriate and convenient location to litigate the claims in this action. They maintain that the parties and claims show a strong nexus to New York. Mionis states that, during the first quarter of 1998, while the Funds were being set up, he was in daily contact with Embiricos and Goneos of Bank JB New York, as well as the JB Cayman representative in New York, Mr. Discolo.
He states that the negotiations concerning the partnership all took place with Bank JB New York; that the Funds investment activities, its custodial accounts and securities= account were all in Bank JB New York; and that ?it is possible? that the defamatory letter originated from New York.
Plaintiffs further argue that defendants will not suffer any hardship if this case is litigated in New York. Mionis claims that the evidence and witnesses in this action are located in several countries, but are primarily in New York where the conspiracy occurred, and most of the business transactions between the parties occurred. He points out that defendants Embiricos and Goneous reside in New York; that the parties= business transactions occurred primarily through Bank JB New York; that the vast majority of Mionis= medical treatment and the records pertaining to the treatment, are located in New York; and, that the witnesses who may testify regarding Mionis= reputation are located in the United States, Switzerland, Portugal, and Israel, as well as Greece.
Mionis disputes defendants= contention that litigating this action in New York would impose an undue burden on this court. He states that courts in New York routinely deal with international cases, including those that involve foreign law and the translation of witness testimony. He also maintains that since defendants agreed to arbitrate in New York, they waived their right to argue that New York is an inconvenient forum.
Finally, he argues that Greece is not an adequate alternative forum for the litigation of this action because, inter alia: (1) plaintiffs would not be entitled to a jury trial in Greece; (2) plaintiffs cannot get punitive damages in Greece; and (3) there exists pervasive anti-Semitism at all levels of Greek society and its institutions.
With regard to this last contention, plaintiffs attach an affidavit by Moses Constantinis, the President of the Central Board of Greek Jewish Communities located in Athens (ΚΙΣ), Greece. Mr. Constantinis recites a litany of anti-Semitic incidents involving political parties and the press in Greece. He also cites to a decision by a Greek court in Crete, issued in 1984, which contained strong anti-Semitic invective.
As previously noted, plaintiff argues that defendants waived their right to challenge the forum of this action based upon their prior motion to compel arbitration. Defendants claim that they never took the position that New York was the most convenient or appropriate forum for this action, but merely argued that this dispute should be settled in arbitration, which agreement called for arbitration in New York. Although this court finds defendants= contention disingenuous, the fact that defendants argued for arbitration in New York in a prior motion is just one factor to be weighed with the others. Under certain circumstances, where there is a valid agreement by the parties to submit their dispute to arbitration in New York, this ?would have been a relevant consideration, to be weighed with others, in the resolution of the forum non conveniens issue [citations omitted]? (Hadjioannou v Avramides, 40 NY2d 929, 931 .
In measuring the relevant considerations involved in this case, this court finds that the doctrine of forum non conveniens should be invoked for the following reasons:
Although plaintiff enjoys a strong presumption in favor of its choice of forum, the presumption applies with less force when the plaintiff is foreign (Piper Aircraft Co. v Reyno, 454 US 235, 255-56 ). Here, neither plaintiffs are New York residents. Mionis is a Greek citizen, and Capital Management is a Bahamian corporation.
It clearly appears that the majority of the facts and circumstances surrounding the letter, except for the alleged conspiracy to send the letter, which is alleged ?upon information and belief? to have occurred in New York, happened in Greece. Although the amended complaint contains extensive statements regarding the parties= business dealings and relationship prior to the publication of the letter, all the parties agreed in prior judicial proceedings in this action that these allegations are merely ?background?, and that the claims are solely based upon the letter – not the parties= business relationship. Moreover, the amended complaint specifically states that all of the claims arise from the publication of the alleged defamatory letter. Greece is the primary site of the events out of which the asserted claims arose. There is no allegation that the letter was published in New York and, beyond plaintiffs= mere speculation, there are no facts presented which would indicate that the letter was sent from New York. The letter, which was sent to the Greek Ministry of Justice and contained the signature of Bank JB Cayman=s senior officer, included a list of plaintiffs= Greek clients; the investigation of Mionis, his company, and his Greek clients, was conducted in Greece by Greek authorities; and the bad publicity and damage to plaintiffs= reputation occurred, in large part, in Greece.
Further, the array of facts surrounding the allegedly libelous letter demonstrate that the ends of justice and the convenience of the parties and witnesses will best be served if the action is heard in Greece, since the publication of the allegedly libelous letter occurred in Greece, and the bulk of the potential witnesses and documents are located in Greece (see e.g., World Point Trading PTE, Ltd. v Credito Italiano, 225 AD2d 153 [1st Dept 1996]; Karella v Karella, 159 AD2d 414 [1st Dept 1990]); Ginsburg v Hearst Publishing Co. Inc., 5 AD2d 200 [1st Dept 1958]; Lion De Mer, S.A., v M/V Loretta D., 2000 WL 198335 [D Md Feb. 17, 2000]).
Discovery will entail, in large part, getting evidence from the Greek government about their agency=s criminal investigation of Mionis, and questioning witnesses located in Greece regarding Mionis= and Capital Management=s reputation, both before and after the publication of the letter. The courts in Greece would have the power to subpoena witnesses and documents relevant to the asserted claims (Lion De Mer v M/V Loretta D., supra).
Moreover, it appears likely that Greek law will apply, and that the relevant documents will most likely be in Greek. The parties do not dispute that New York=s choice of law rules apply, and that since this is a tort action, Greek law will likely govern since the publication of the alleged defamatory letter occurred in Greece (Schultz v Boy Scouts of America, Inc., 65 NY2d 189 ; Lee v Bankers Trust Co., 166 F3d 540, 545 [2d Cir 1999]). While this court is certainly capable of applying foreign law, the particular foreign court is better equipped to interpret and apply its own law (Bewers v Am. Home Prods. Corp., 99 AD2d 949 [1st Dept], affd 64 NY2d 630 ).
Taking the above factors into consideration, this court finds that the courts of Greece would better serve the ends of justice and the convenience of the parties (see, Brewers v American Home Products Corp., supra; World Point Trading PTE, Ltd. v Credito Italiano, supra; Evdokias v Oppenheimer, 123 AD2d 598 [2d Dept 1986])).
Finally, an adequate alternative forum exists in Greece. Defendants submit evidence that Greek law has comparable causes of action and provides compensatory remedies with respect to the alleged torts. With regard to punitive damages being unavailable in Greece, since Greek law would likely apply, this is not a relevant factor to be considered (Hingis v Tacchini, – AD2d -, 2003 WL 1346942 [1st Dept]). Even assuming arguendo that Greek law did not apply, the fact that the alternative forum does not provide for punitive damages, is but a single factor to be considered in the court=s analysis, and not necessarily a relevant one (In re Rezulin Prods. Liab. Litig., 214 F Supp 2d 396, 400 [SDNY 2002]). Neither does the unavailability of a jury trial mandate denial of dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds (see, e.g., Bewers v Am. Home Prods. Corp., 99 AD2d at 950).
A forum is found to be inadequate if ?the remedy provided by the alternative forum is so clearly inadequate or unsatisfactory that it is no remedy at all? (Piper Aircraft, 454 US at 254). With regard to plaintiff=s contention that Greece is an inadequate forum because of pervasive anti-Semitism, this court does not take this allegation lightly, and finds the incidents cited in plaintiff=s papers very disturbing. However, this court notes that defendants state that they would be comparably affected by a climate of anti-Semitism in Greece, since Bank JB was founded, and remains principally owned, by a Jewish family. Further, since there is no specific evidence of current judicial anti-Semitism presented which would demonstrate that the courts in Greece would not provide the parties with a fair trial, and considering that all the factors weigh heavily in favor of Greece as the appropriate forum to determine this action, this court finds that Greece offers an adequate alternative forum.
Although this court finds that Greece is the forum where the trial of this action will best serve the convenience of the parties and the ends of justice, the affidavits submitted by the parties dispute whether Greece would accept jurisdiction of this action, notwithstanding that defendants have agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of the Greek courts. Therefore, this court grants defendants= motion to dismiss this action based upon forum non conveniens upon the following conditions: that all of the defendants agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the Greek courts, and that the courts of Greece agree to accept jurisdiction of this action.
This court has considered plaintiffs= remaining arguments and found them to be without merit.
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that defendants= motion to dismiss the complaint on forum non conveniens grounds is granted upon the following conditions: that defendants submit to the jurisdiction of the courts in Greece and, that Greece accepts jurisdiction of this action; and it is further
ORDERED that the motion to dismiss is granted and the complaint is dismissed with costs and disbursements to defendant as taxed by the Clerk of the Court; and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk is directed to enter judgment accordingly.
DATED: July 1, 2003