ORIX Capital Markets, LLC v. Super Futures Equities, Inc., et. al., Civil No. 06-00271 (N.D. Tex. settled Feb. 10, 2009).
Status: $12.5 million jury award; undisclosed settlement immediately prior to verdict.

In 2001, Orix Capital Markets, a financing division of Wells Fargo, foreclosed on an apartment complex in Louisiana owned by Super Future Equities, Inc., a Nevada-based investor group in which the controlling shareholders are members of the Rafizadeh family. Orix also won a nearly $11 million judgment against Mondona Rafizadeh. Super Future Equities sued Orix and Wells Fargo in 2006, alleging that that the defendants consistently ignored their fiduciary responsibility is issuing mortgages. As a counterclaim in that suit, Orix alleged libel, business disparagement and other claims against the Rafizadehs and their companies; one of these was a libel claim over www.predatorix.com (now owned by Orix), a web site run by then-18-year-old Cyrus Rafizadeh, which stated that Orix and Weel Fargo financed mortgages irresponsibly. On Dec. 14, 2007, the court granted the Orix and Wells Fargo’s motion for summary judgment on all of Super Future Equities’ claims, and on March 18, 2008 the court dismissed all of the counterclaims, except for the libel per se claim over the web site. Trial on that claim began on Jan. 25, 2009, and on Feb. 6 the jury awarded $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. Immediately before the jury verdict was announced, the parties reached a confidential settlement which involved a substantial payment to a charitable organization run by Orix, a public apology, and turnover of the site.

Links and Court Documents:
Ruling dismissing most counter claims: http://www.thelen.com/tlu/SuperFutureEquitiesVWellsFargo.pdf

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