Usury Suit By Higbee & Associates Made Null and Void By Judge

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lawyer going to the courthouseAn attorney suing merchant cash advance companies in New York has once again been told by a judge that he was ineligible to file a lawsuit in the state.

Rayminh Ngo, of counsel with Higbee & Associates, a law firm that tries to sue merchant cash advance companies for usury, met his demise on Tuesday when the Honorable Kenneth L. Thompson, Jr. rendered the lawsuit before him null and void for violating Judiciary Law 470. §470 requires that the law firm have an office in New York in order to represent clients in New York.

Ngo and Higbee had no such office, a secret that was exposed in January when they were thrown off a case in Nassau County for being in violation.

In this latest case, Singlesource Communications, Inc. DBA Singlesource Communications, and Brian Miller v ABC Merchant Solutions, LLC (Index #28640/2017), Judge Thompson found Higbee’s violation and “lack of candor” so compelling that he rendered the entire lawsuit “a nullity” rather than direct the plaintiff to obtain new counsel.

Judge Thompson specifically brought attention to the fact that the Higbee law firm swore to having an office lease in New York City and in support of that Higbee had supplied a document that literally said this is “NOT A LEASE.”

Needless to say the judge was not impressed and the action was dismissed without prejudice.

Not mentioned was that Higbee & Associates had tried to withdraw their usury lawsuit entirely, just days after The Appellate Division of The First Department ruled that such MCA transactions like the one ABC Merchant Solutions engaged in, were not usurious at all. Even though Higbee’s usury claim was already doomed as a matter of law, they nonetheless had their case dismissed for their own noncompliance and lack of candor.

Christopher Murray of Stein Adler LLP was the attorney for the defendant that was successful in winning Higbee’s disqualification in this case. Murray was also responsible for Higbee’s previous disqualification in Platinum Rapid Funding Group, Ltd. v. H D W of Raleigh, Inc. d/b/a Pure Med Spa, a/k/a Pure Cosmetic and Surgical Center and Holly Donielle Wybel a/k/a Holly D. Wybel.

Last modified: April 20, 2019

Category: Regulation

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