HOUSTON–LAWFUEL – US Law News, Law Jobs –In a $204 million dollar case against two brothers guilty of stealing their deceased father’s tea business from their mother, represented by the Houston law firm Heard, Robins, Cloud & Lubel (Heard Robins), a judge rendered a bench verdict in favor of the mother — Maria del Carmen Guilbot Serros de Gonzalez — who was found to be a victim of fraud.
“We are thrilled that we were able to get a just verdict, and we are glad that this family drama now has received its due process in the U.S.,” said Hector Longoria, attorney for Heard Robins and Mrs. Guilbot de Gonzalez. “We will now turn our attention to collecting the verdict across the border and dealing with the technical aspects of this protracted and painful affair.”
After the death of their father, the two brothers, Carlos and Miguel Gonzalez, seized control of the business that should have been rightfully transferred and inherited by mom. After suit to determine father’s estate’s assets, the two brothers forged stock certificates and presented them as evidence of the true owners of Lagg’s Tea Company. The LAGG’s tea brand has about a 70% market penetration in Mexico.
The forgeries were discovered after an in-depth search by Longoria and Alex Barlow, and were proved by Heard Robins to be an attempt on behalf of the brothers to defraud the Court during the discovery process. As a result, the trial court struck the brothers use of these stock certificates as proof of ownership of any of the disputed companies.
After procedural attempts to try and stop the case from going to trial that included four bankruptcy filings, a removal, and three motions to recuse, the brothers skipped their jury trial for the remaining causes of action. Heard Robins then tried the case to the bench, returning the family business to the mother, and granting damages for lost profits, damages to the business as a result of the brothers looting, and exemplary damages.
“Whenever a case spans two countries, there is always going to be an elevated level of difficulty when it comes to collecting a verdict and dealing with two sets of laws,” said Longoria. “This is a huge victory, and we are glad to be a part of it.”
Heard, Robins, Cloud & Lubel, LLP, are trial lawyers representing both individual and corporate clients in a wide range of disputes in courthouses throughout the United States and across the border. 713-650-1200 or http://www.heardrobins.com