The case entitled B&M Kingstone, LLC v. Mega International Commercial Bank Co., Ltd., 158577/14 arose out of a $33 million judgment awarded in Florida in 2003 in favor of a fiber optic company that alleged a Chinese manufacturer had stolen its trade secrets. Brett Kingstone, founder of Super Vision International, alleged Mega International Commercial Bank ("Mega") assisted the lead Defendant in the suit to evade judgment, and one of Mega’s branches in Panama housed one of the Defendant's accounts.
The Law Firm of Elias C. Schwartz, PLLC, as Kingstone’s attorneys, served an Information Subpoena Restraining Notice Questionnaire on Mega International Commercial Bank, who in turn provided information relating solely to New York bank accounts held by the Defendant yet refused to provide information about accounts held by the Defendant at branches outside of New York. A Lower Court ruled against Mega which resulted in an appeal of the Lower Court's decision.
On appeal, on August 11, 2015, the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, Judge Rolando T. Acosta held that “Mega’s New York branch is subject to jurisdiction requiring it to comply with the appropriate information subpoenas, because it consented to the necessary regulatory oversight in return for permission to operate in New York.” The Court’s general personal jurisdiction over the bank’s New York branch, Judge Acosta found “permits it to compel that branch to produce any requested information that can be found through electronic searches performed there.”
Elias C. Schwartz, Esq. the Managing Member of the Law Firm of Elias C. Schwartz, PLLC said “International banks should not be able to reap the benefits of having a branch in the center of world finance, and not be accountable to creditors under New York law… the ruling means the subpoena effectively has global reach.”