A Guangzhou Raffles Lawsuit Filed by Raymond James Contractors Leads to Tax Eviction and Fraudulent Warranty Agreements
Last month, The Raymond James Group announced that it had settled a lawsuit brought against it by an individual who claimed he suffered injuries as a result of working for the company while intoxicated. According to media reports, Raymond James has so far agreed to pay up to $15 million in damages to settle two class-action lawsuits that accuse the company of improperly billing its clients for travel expenses.
Additionally, the company has reportedly agreed to eliminate language that formed the foundation of the prior lawsuit, according to court records. It is not clear how much money will be paid out in settlement money, but it is expected to be more than half of what was originally due. This means that the company could be liable for paying up to three times as much as the amount it initially owed.
Raymond James Lawsuit
The lawsuit was filed by Robert D. Mastriani, a former division chief in the Office of Personnel Management at the U.S. Department of State. He claims that he was fired without just cause and that he subsequently signed multiple waivers giving the OPM and Raymond James permission to hire him despite his signing of waivers indicating his intention to sue the company for wrongful termination.
In addition to being a former state employee, Mr. Mastriani is a contractor that has worked with Raymond James and currently is suing them on behalf of his former employers. According to the lawsuit, this constitutes a “bad faith” motive in violation of the employment agreement between the parties.
The lawsuit was filed on Februrary 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Louisiana.
It asks that a judge allow Mr. James and the defendants to be free of liability while awaiting a trial to resolve a tax foreclosure issue that centers on their lease agreements with their landlord, Lease Options LLC. The plaintiffs argue that they were forced into this agreement when their leases expired on February 14th, without any type of notice. The tax foreclosure issue was not addressed in the lease itself. This is important because it could open the door for the defendant to deduct their expenses related to evicting the plaintiffs from their home and holding them in abeyance while the IRS completes its audit.
On February 15th, the defendants were served with the lawsuit.
The complaint names as defendants the following individuals: Ray James, the building owner; Global Leases, the building owner’s agent; and Global Residential Inc, the property maintenance corporation. The complaint further names as defendants Global Resorts Group (the parent corporation of Raymond James), Global Commercial Real Estate (the parent company of Raymond James), Raymond James Commercial Real Estate, Inc., and Global Resorts Leasing LLC.
The complaint further states that defendants did not provide notice of eviction, did not maintain proper records of the lease agreement and did not maintain reasonable policies and procedures regarding payments of rent and damages to the plaintiffs. It is interesting to note that none of these companies are named in the complaint.
Plaintiffs also allege that defendants owe a paltry sum of back taxes, legal fees, court costs and PDA’s to the tune of nearly $500k.
After reviewing the case in this litigation, it appears that the only money due to the plaintiffs pertains to back taxes. The tax issue was not raised at the trial and the sheriffs have no evidence to support their claims. There are a few things to take into consideration here.
Apparently, the U.S. District Judge dismissed the complaint naming both Global and Raymond James as defendants in the February 14th eviction lawsuit.
Apparently, the U.S. District Judge dismissed this lawsuit filed by plaintiffs against Global and Raymond James Real Estate. The complaint was denied in part and plaintiffs lost their right to a jury trial.