SAN JUAN Aug 20 Puerto Rico's Doral Bank
is seeking the dismissal of a racketeering and
wrongful death lawsuit that accuses its top executives of
conspiring to have a former bank official killed after he
uncovered fraud at the financial institution.
Calling the lawsuit's allegations "speculative, implausible,
internally inconsistent and legally deficient," Doral attorneys
said in a motion for dismissal that "none of the plaintiffs
claims rises above the level of sheer speculation, and for that
reason alone they should be dismissed.
"The death and apparent assassination of Maurice Spagnoletti
was undeniably tragic. But tragedy does not give rise to a cause
of action against anyone and everyone, and it certainly does not
give rise to one against these defendants."
The motion filed on Monday in federal court in San Juan.
Spagnoletti, 56, was shot multiple times in a gangland-style
killing while driving home from work to the fashionable Condado
beach front district in rush-hour traffic in June 2011.
Authorities in the Caribbean territory have described the
shooting as an apparent contract killing, but have made no
Spagnoletti's family filed the lawsuit in the U.S.
commonwealth in June, naming the bank's chief executive officer
and four other high-ranking officials as defendants.
Spagnoletti was chief operating officer at Doral Bank when
he uncovered alleged fraudulent accounting and improper payments
by the bank, according to the complaint filed by his widow and
Named in the suit were the bank and its parent Doral
Financial Corp, Chief Executive Officer Glenn Wakeman and legal
counsel Enrique Ubarri-Baragano, among others.
At the time the suit was filed, U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia
Rodriguez said the FBI was continuing to investigate the
Spagnoletti shooting, including the suit's allegations.
"We have had some leads, but not enough to bring charges.
That's why we have been placing more emphasis on this case. It
is very important to us," she said. "All angles are being
investigated ... Nothing is being discarded."
Spagnoletti received warnings and threats after he sought to
have a senior bank employee dismissed for allegedly making
hundreds of thousands of dollars in improper payments, the
Bank attorneys argue that the suit's central allegations are
"utterly lacking in the factual support" needed to make them
Doral Bank has 26 branches in Puerto Rico, Florida and New
York and nearly $6 billion in assets. It is Puerto Rico's sixth
largest bank and second largest mortgage lender.