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THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH

LawCrossing Legal Daily News Feature

$15-Million Fraud Caught in Litigation Funding On Wednesday, according to a complaint filed in a Brooklyn federal court, three men were charged with bilking $15 million from hundreds of individuals who believed that they were legally investing in lawsuit settlements. The trio, Peter Liounis, Ruslan Rapoport and Roman Tsimerman worked together on three separate such fraudulent schemes of litigation funding between December 2008 and April 2012.

04/19/12

familiar voice identifying himself as “Andrew Black from UBS.” Mr. Black said he was soliciting investments for

Two of the fraudsters, Liounis and Tsimerman are in

an IPO of General Motors stock.

custody, while the third, Rapoport is still free as the charges on him relate only to conspiracy to commit

The individual tipped off federal agents who confirmed

wire fraud and money laundering. Both of the accused

that there was no Andrew Black in UBS, and they

who are in custody are charged with wire fraud along

halted the scheme with the funds being returned. Black

with other lesser charges.

was later identified as Liounis.

The defendants conceived a company in December

Again in March 2011, the fraudsters launched a third

2008 called the Rockford Group and marketed itself as

scheme with their original modus-operandi – that of

a “leading private equity firm.” It described its modus-

litigation funding scam. They floated a company named

operandi as investment in personal-injury and related

Grayson Hewitt, and went on to spend the collected

litigation and promised 15 percent of money recovered

funds on buying gold, having expensive meals, and

by plaintiffs from their lawsuits.

luxury items.

However, the Rockford Group which was operative up to

The Grayson Hewitt scheme bilked investors of near to

2009, never invested in litigation, but wired the money

$5 million.

to overseas bank accounts. Approximately, 200 U.S. and Canadian investors lost $11 million cumulatively.

The case is U.S. v. Liounis et al., in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, no. 12-379.

In September, 2010, one of the individuals defrauded by the Rockford Group received a phone call from a

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$15-Million Fraud Caught in Litigation Funding