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Chase v. Merson

United States District Court, D. Maine

February 6, 2019

JOHN F. CHASE, Plaintiff
v.
ARTHUR MERSON, et al., Defendants

          DECISION AND ORDER ON CLOUTIER DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

          D. Brock Hornby United States District Judge.

         The plaintiff filed this federal lawsuit alleging RICO violations, breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, conversion, and unfair trade practices against a number of defendants. Pl.'s Compl. at 16-23 (ECF No. 1). In general, he alleges that certain defendants fraudulently told him that for every $250, 000 he invested in standby letters of credit, he would obtain a return of approximately $10, 000, 000 within 7 to 12 days. Id. at 1. He invested $500, 000, and lost it all.

         He has sued several of the defendants in Count IV for breach of contract based upon an “Irrevocable 17.5% Success Fee Participation & Payorder Agreement” that he attaches to his Complaint. Ex. 1 (ECF No. 1-1.) Two of those defendants, Mark Cloutier and Robert Cloutier, have moved to dismiss the plaintiff's claim against them, which is limited to that asserted breach of contract.[1] Defs.' Mot. at 3 (ECF No. 61). I Grant the motion.[2]

         With respect to the Cloutier defendants and the alleged breach of contract, the Complaint states:

         III. The Irrevocable 17.5% Success Fee Participation & Payorder Agreement

32. Defendants Merson and Roy explained to Attorney Abbondanza [the plaintiff's lawyer] that in exchange for introducing Mr. Chase to the opportunity, they, Endeavor Project Consultants, and Defendants Patch, Mark Cloutier, and Robert Cloutier (collectively, the “Consultants”) would require a collective fee equal to 17.5% of Mr. Chase's proceeds from the transaction.
33. The Consultants in late March 2017 presented Mr. Chase with an Irrevocable 17.5% Success Fee Participation & Payorder Agreement (the “Success Fee Agreement”), which they said memorialized their entitlement to a collective 17.5% fee for introducing Mr. Chase to the standby letter of credit opportunity. See Success Fee Agreement, attached as Exhibit 1.
34. The Success Fee Agreement stated that “All payments hereunder shall be made pursuant to the above transaction via S.W.I.F.T., or other appropriate and direct wire of funds transfer mechanism . . . .”
35. The Success Fee Agreement further provided that Defendant Patch would sign a note and mortgage in the amount of $250, 000 secured by real estate he owned in Arizona. In fact, Mr. Patch's real estate in Arizona was worth only approximately $110, 000.
36. Mr. Chase and the Consultants entered the Success Fee Agreement on March 29, 2017.

Pl.'s Compl. at 7-8.

         COUNT IV

         BREACH OF CONTRACT

         Defendants Merson, Endeavor Project Consultants, LLC, Roy, Patch, Mark ...


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