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Securities Fraud Attorney Thomas Mauriello Defeats Motion to Compel Arbitration in Precious Metals Fraud Case in Los Angeles Superior Court

February 2024

In a significant legal victory in the fight against fraud targeting seniors, Judge Michael Whitaker of the Los Angeles Superior Court on February 7, 2024 denied a motion to compel arbitration filed by Defendant Fisher Capital LLC, a precious metals company based in Beverly Hills. The plaintiff in this case is represented by securities fraud attorney Thomas D. Mauriello,

In a detailed order issued following oral argument, the Judge concluded that the arbitration clause in the Fisher Capital client agreement was void and unenforceable because it was induced by fraud and was both procedurally and substantively unconscionable. The Judge further found that the defects permeated the agreement and were not severable.

The case is notable for several reasons. First, the arbitration clause designated "Fisher Capital Arbitration Association" as the forum. No such forum was locatable and the Judge agreed with securities attorney Mauriello that even if this forum exists, it apparently would have been sponsored by defendant rather than being a legitimate and neutral forum.

Another arbitration forum, JAMS, was identified in the client agreement as a backup arbitration forum. But JAMS would only be applicable if an arbitration claim was first filed with "Fisher Capital Arbitration Association" and if then no hearing was set within 120 days in that forum. Because the latter forum was nonexistent/unfeasible, the Court rejected Fisher Capital's request to send the case to JAMS arbitration.

Secondly the Court found that Fisher Capital's conduct was both fraudulent and unconscionable. Plaintiff asserted that defendant's personnel cold called plaintiff, a recently widowed retiree in another state, and pressured and bullied her, telling her that is she did not move her deceased husband's retirement assets to her name, the government would take them. They then obtained effective control of all of her retirement funds, set up an account at metals custodian Kingdon Trust, and induced plaintiff to purchase gold and metal coins, at grossly inflated prices. The assets lost over 50% of their value.

Defendants in this action were represented by the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine in Los Angeles.

In addition to the lawsuit brought by securities attorney Thomas D. Mauriello, Fisher Capital LLC also has been sued in federal court in New York by the federal Commodities Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC") for substantially similar conduct perpetrated against victims nationwide. A copy of the CFTC complaint in that pending matter can be found here. If you are the victim of fraud in connection with a securities or precious metals transaction, please contact securities attorney Thomas D. Mauriello for a free consultation. Mr. Mauriello specializes in securities fraud and may be able to assist you in recovering your investment losses.
Client Reviews
Tom, thank you for your all help. Among the three other attorneys I talked with, I chose you because you really listened, asked thoughtful questions and sought all information to understand my situation. That gave me confidence in you above all others. I am a believer in receiving feedback, so I just wanted to share my thoughts with you. If I come across anyone that is looking for counsel in this industry I will certainly refer them your way. Scott Yi, Securities Registered Representative
Thomas was very thorough, kind and truly cared about me and my case. He went above and beyond the call of duty. Every time I contacted him he me made me feel like a very important client. His skills, intelligence and demeanor lead to a victory in the courtroom! Susan De Diminicantanio
As a business development consultant, there have been times to which I am in need of counsel for the review and strategic advice a range of diversified employment and compensation packages. In this sense, Thomas Mauriello has been my trusted counsel, paying particular attention to the settle nuances the language and structure of contractual agreements, and rely heavily on his expert opinion as a plaintiff's lawyer! Emma Makinen, DOAP Kitchens, LLC
Our Family needed an attorney who was knowledgeable with FINRA and Tom proved to be very familiar with FINRA. We found him, trustworthy, thorough, honest and sympathetic during an emotionally stressful time with our Family. Annette Hellmich
I would recommend Mr. Mauriello highly - - to anyone - - - wish I had more friends in the area who need an attorney! He was extremely knowledgeable, timely, courteous, - AND - he won my case! Would call him again in an instant should the need arise. Nancy Brown