The Illinois whistleblower lawsuit against multiple Wall Street banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, and Bank of America, cleared a major hurdle after an Illinois court rejected the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case. The suit was filed by Edelweiss LLC under the Illinois False Claims Act, by Chicago attorney Michael Behn of Behn & Wyetzner, Chartered. (State of Illinois ex rel. Edelweiss LLC (Case No. 2017 L 000289).
Judge Diane Shelley of the Illinois state court in Chicago stated that Edelweiss’ whistleblower “complaint articulates in myriad detail how false claims could have been presented to the State of Illinois.”
Judge Shelley’s decision means the case against the banks will move forward to discovery. If successful, the State of Illinois could recover hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and damages from the defendants.
Behn described the ruling as “a major victory for Illinois tax payers and municipalities.”
“We welcome Judge Shelley’s decision, and intend to prove that defendants defrauded the government as alleged,” added Dan Hergott, also of Behn & Wyetzner and another of Edelweiss’ attorneys.
The banks will now have to answer Edelweiss’ complaint, which alleges that the defendants engaged in a deliberate scheme to overcharge government entities while providing financial services relating to municipal bonds.
More information available here.