LOS ANGELES, June 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Late last week, Tom Lallas, trial attorney and name partner at the business litigation law firm of Levy, Small & Lallas, Los Angeles, prevailed in a four-year long battle on behalf of Lallas' client, A.W. Financial Group LLC ("AW"), against Ramon DeSage, ("DeSage") and his entity Cadeau Express Inc. ("Cadeau"). According to lead trial counsel Lallas, the Court awarded his client a staggering $34,653,698.63 in compensatory damages, and an additional $2-million in punitive damages, in order to punish DeSage and Cadeau for the fraud they perpetrated against AW.
"It was a long-fought battle," Lallas says, "one that resulted in a total victory and complete vindication of our client. We are very pleased with the outcome."
The Honorable Jack M. Newman, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge (Ret.), acted as a duly appointed arbitrator under the American Arbitration Association, and issued the award in favor of AW against DeSage and his entity, Cadeau.
AW's claims were based on various promissory notes it held—loans to DeSage and Cadeau—in the principal sums of $15,000,000, $4,620,000, and $3,100,000, which they agreed to repay to AW with interest. The $34,653,698.63 in compensatory damages that Judge Newman awarded included all principal and interest that AW claimed to be due and owing.
During the course of the private trial, held during February and March of this year, Lallas argued that DeSage had made false representations and promises to AW as he perpetrated fraud against them. Judge Newman found that the punitive damages he levied were also warranted in light of the financing relationship and business history between AW and DeSage. As part of Judge Newman's ruling, AW also has the right to submit a claim for additional amounts for its attorneys' fees and costs, as well as for interest accruing after February 4, 2016.
In an attempt to defend AW's claims, DeSage and Cadeau asserted that the loans were not enforceable for two reasons: Because they were usurious, and because AW was not a licensed lender. Judge Newman expressly rejected those defenses and specifically noted that Lallas had proved that DeSage admitted in a prior marital dissolution case that he owed AW the amounts then due on the notes.
Tom Lallas of Levy, Small and Lallas in Los Angeles, represented AW as lead trial counsel in the prosecution of its claims against DeSage and Cadeau. Patrick B. Moore of Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn and Dial, LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada, served as co-counsel to Lallas. DeSage was represented by Richard B. Herman, P.C., with law offices in New York City.
As a trial lawyer for more than 40 years, Lallas graduated from Stanford University in 1972, cum laude, and from its law school in 1975. As a partner at Levy, Small & Lallas, a firm founded in 1976, Lallas has represented and tried cases for institutional clients, entrepreneurs, real estate investors, commercial lenders, and tech companies. Lallas handles arbitrations and disputes as they arise in real estate transactions and class actions. He also handles cases related to securities fraud claims, lender-related litigation, bankruptcy claims, intellectual property, accountancy, malpractice, and business torts.
DeSage was recently indicted on charges of fraud by the Nevada Grand Jury.
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SOURCE Levy, Small & Lallas