BEKAL represents a public adjuster accused of wrongdoing in connection with a fire insurance scheme. Among other things, the public adjuster was accused of committing fraud and seven other causes of action by participating in the forgery of signatures on insurance-proceed checks. However, led by Alexander Klein, BEKAL secured the pre-answer dismissal of seven of eight claims lodged by the plaintiff mortgage company—approximately $280,000 of the $294,000 that were in issue—an extraordinary outcome this early in a case involving such a vast array of claims.
Of particular note is the outcome of the claim asserting fraud. Klein argued, successfully, that while BEKAL’s client was accused of forging checks, the forgeries were relied upon by third-party bank tellers. This bars a claim of fraud under New York law, because fraud requires that material misrepresentations be relied upon by the victim rather than a third-party.