Case of the Day: Application of Setraco Nigeria Ltd.

The case of the day is In re Application of Setraco Nigeria Ltd. (M.D. Fla. 2013). Setraco Nigeria Ltd., an engineering company in Ahuja, Nigeria, alleged that in 2012 it discovered that two of its employees, Michel Nehme and Bechara Karam, had incorporated entities using the Setraco name in the United States and Canada without its knowledge or permission. According to Setraco Nigeria, the two employees used these North American entities to transfer money illicitly.

In an earlier § 1782 case, Setraco had obtained documents from Devry Dewan including a check drawn on an account maintained by the US Setraco entity with Bank of America. Now Setraco sought to serve a subpoena on Bank of America, in order to assist it in asserting criminal claims against Nehme and Karam in Nigeria.

Although Setraco was hoping to get the Nigerian government to bring criminal claims against Nehme and Karam, the judge properly held that it was an “interested person,” on the strength of Intel v. Advanced Micro Devices, which also involved proceedings brought by the government on the application of the private injured party. The judge also determined that the documents were for use in proceedings in a foreign tribunal, correctly noting that it was enough for the proceedings to be “within reasonable contemplation.” The Intel factors favored discovery. Easy case.

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2d ed. 2016), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

4 thoughts on “Case of the Day: Application of Setraco Nigeria Ltd.

  1. Dear Mr. Ted,
    I would like to inform you that what you mentioned above in based on faulty information supplied to Florida court and the petitioner has misleaded the court.
    even the court should have informed the other party to listen to them before exposing personal information that it may be used in an unlawful way anyway they will be responsible of any circumstances and they will be obliged to compensate us.
    I would like to inform you that we will reserve all our rights to file a case against whom ever has wrote ,submit, involved directly or indirectly like but not limited to allow publishing all these incorrect information against us.

    BECHARA KARAM

    1. Mr. Karam, I believe my post was a fair report of the Florida proceedings. You are right to point out that the court heard the case ex parte, but that is what almost always happens in § 1782 cases. You are welcome to comment here on the facts of the case from your perspective if you like. My post, though, was not really about the facts of the case, but whether the Flordia court was right to grant Setraco’s request for leave to serve a subpoena given what Setraco told the court about the facts of the case.

  2. The above subject refers.

    Our attention has been drawn to the publication in re Application of Setraco Nigeria Ltd (M.D. Fla. 2013) wherein you published and posted to the internet that Setraco Nigeria Ltd alleged that in 2012 it discovered that two of its employees, Michel Nehme and Bechara Karam had incorporated entities using the Setraco name in the United States and Canada without its knowledge or permission. That according to Setraco Nigeria, the two employees used these North American entities to transfer money illicitly.

    That the aforesaid assertion without confirmation that the two employees used these entities to transfer money illicitly imports the requisite innuendo of criminality and holds us out as fraudulent dishonourable, and persons not to be trusted thereby exposed us to hatred, ridicule, odium and undermined our integrity in the estimation of reasonable member of the society all over the world particularly in the United State of America, Canada and Nigeria. Your said publication has no legal justification whatsoever as investigation by the court has revealed that we are innocent of the allegations against us for which they have tried to tarnish our image and reputation.

    We are therefore demanding that you publish the finding of the court stating that there was no illicit money transfer or any money transfer at all by us as alleged by the said Setraco Nigeria Ltd. This becomes imperative in order to exclude you from the impending legal actions against Setraco Nigeria Ltd. If you fail, refuse or neglect to so do, we shall not hesitate to join you in any matter concerning this case.

    1. Mr. Karam, you mention a “finding of the court stating that there was no illicit money transfer or any money transfer at all by us as alleged by the said Setraco Nigeria Ltd.” I am not aware of the decision, but if you will provide a link to it, I would be happy to publish it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *