Bangladesh Bank v. Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation et al


Milbank LLP, Sidley Austin LLP and The Ebanks Law Firm represented the defendants, while the plaintiff was represented by Cozen O’Connor.

A US court has dismissed the civil case filed by the Bangladesh Bank in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, relating to the alleged cyber-hacking of the Bangladesh Bank in February 2016.

BRHI is the license holder and operator of the Solaire Resort & Casino located in Manila, Philippines and is one of 40 named and unnamed defendants which include Philippine banks, money remittance companies, casinos, and individuals, as well as Chinese individuals.

Bangladesh Bank alleges that in February 2016, a group of North Korean hackers stole $81 million from its bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed). Bangladesh Bank alleges that the hackers infiltrated the bank’s computer systems and sent numerous fraudulent remittance orders to the New York Fed. Four of the allegedly fraudulent remittance orders were ultimately executed, and the funds were routed from the New York Fed, through four correspondent banks in the United States, and then onto the Philippines and elsewhere. When the stolen funds reached the Philippines, Bangladesh Bank alleges that the funds were laundered through fictitious bank accounts at Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), money remittance companies, and local casinos, including the Solaire.

Bangladesh Bank alleges that individuals, including Chinese nationals, brought some of the stolen funds to the Solaire, where the money was used to purchase chips and gamble from February 5 to March 10, 2016, at which time the Solaire stopped all play of the fraudulent chips.

Bangladesh Bank alleges that the defendants engaged in a massive, multi-year conspiracy with the North Korean hackers to steal the funds from the New York Fed. The Complaint alleges eight state law claims against all and certain of the defendants, as well as a claim under the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

BRHI, together with co-defendants RCBC, Eastern Hawaii Leisure, and Kam Sin Wong, filed two joint motions to dismiss: (i) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or failure to state a RICO claim under Rule 12(b)(6) and (ii) on forum non conveniens grounds. Milbank drafted and filed, on behalf of the co-defendants, the motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a RICO claim.

On March 20, 2020, the Court granted the co-defendants’ joint motion to dismiss for failure to state a RICO claim and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction of the remaining state law claims.

Millbank LLP represented BRHI with a team including Dan Perry (Picture), Emily Glaser, Margherita Capolino and Hannah Cho.

Sidley Austin LLP defended Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation with a team including Ariel Atlas, David Matthew Rody, Melissa Colon-Bosolet and Tai-Heng Cheng.

Alberto A. Ebanks of the Ebanks Law Firm, PLLC defended Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company, Ltd and Kam Sin Wong.

Jesse Ryan Loffler of Cozen O’Connor represented Bangladesh Bank.

Involved fees earner: Alberto Ebanks – Ebanks Law Firm, PLLC; Margherita Capolino – Milbank; Hannah Cho – Milbank; Emily Glaser – Milbank; Daniel Perry – Milbank; Ariel Atlas – Sidley Austin LLP; Tai-Heng Cheng – Sidley Austin LLP; Melissa Colón-Bosolet – Sidley Austin LLP; David Rody – Sidley Austin LLP;

Law Firms: Ebanks Law Firm, PLLC; Milbank; Sidley Austin LLP;

Clients: Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels (BRHI); Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company; Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation ;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti