Case of the Day: Application of Setraco Nigeria Ltd.
Posted on July 11, 2013
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.