San Jose, Calif. — June 25, 2012 — Silicon Valley Law Group, a full-service firm of expert attorneys, today announced that Professional Business Bank agreed to settle a wire transfer fraud litigation matter relating to a cyber-theft of more than $393,000 from Village View Escrow’s trust account at the bank. The legal team was able to recover more than just the full amount of the funds taken from the account plus interest for Village View Escrow.
The escrow firm placed funds, earmarked for residential dwellings, into a trust account at the bank for safekeeping and distribution. Cyber thieves breached security, gained online access to the bank customer’s account, and depleted the account.
“Banks typically deny liability for the cyber-theft which forces small businesses to spend money they do not have on legal fees and regulatory expenses in order to recover a limited and defined set of damages under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC),” said trial attorney Kim Dincel, shareholder at Silicon Valley Law Group and lead counsel on this matter.
Banks are in a financial position to defend themselves against legal claims as to whether their security procedure was commercially reasonable and can afford to hire security experts to bolster their defense.
“We prevailed because Kim and Julie are fighters and were passionate about my case, they looked at every angle. I’m indebted to this legal team, without them I might have had to close down,” said Michelle Marsico, president of Village View Escrow. “My business is holding other people’s money, and I needed to borrow funds to account for the lost money to my customers.”
The UCC and its corresponding California Commercial Code limits the damages resulting from wire transfer fraud to only the actual amount of money lost plus interest – nothing more. Common law claims such as negligence, breach of contract and fraud, and the damages that attached to them, are generally precluded from being asserted by a victim of wire transfer fraud in a lawsuit involving wire transfer fraud.
“The law puts the small business owner, as a victim of the wire transfer fraud, in a precarious position and even on the brink of bankruptcy,” said Julie Bonnel-Rogers, business litigator and trial attorney with Silicon Valley Law Group, who conducted the research, investigations and prepared the pleadings.
Liability for breach of cyber security is a new and emerging area of the law being litigated across the country through corresponding state codes and common law claims, sometimes with inconsistent results. When a business owner does choose legal action, as in the case of Village View Escrow, creative pleading and diligent litigation can result in a favorable outcome.
About Silicon Valley Law Group
Silicon Valley Law Group is a highly reputable San Jose firm of expert business lawyers specializing in technology, corporate, securities, finance, real estate, land use, environmental, and litigation matters. Attentive, responsive, skilled, experienced, business-oriented attorneys work directly with clients on strategic matters and transactions. Our principals have a minimum of 25 years of direct business-related legal experience. All of our principals have been recognized as “Super Lawyers” by both peers and independent research of Law & Politics, an honor awarded to only the top five percent of attorneys in the region. Silicon Valley Law Group is a trusted strategic partner that is results driven, values the client relationship, and uses legal tools to solve business problems. www.svlg.com
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