New York court dismisses lawsuit against French banks by family whose bank was seized by Cuban dictatorship

Judge Vyskocil and 1950’s ad for Banco Nuñez,

From our Bureau of Unpleasant Judicial Decisions with some assistance from our Victories of Ali Baba Bureau

Ay! A New York judge has ruled in favor of two French banks that have trafficked in assets stolen by Castro, Inc. from a Cuban family six decades ago.

The lawsuit had been brought against these French banks by the descendants of the owners of Banco Nuñez, and if they had been able to win the case, they could have been awarded several hundred million dollars.

This decision by Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil could be appealed.

From Granma Euro-Lite (Reuters) via

Societe Generale (OTC:SCGLY) SA and BNP Paribas (OTC:BNPQY) SA on Thursday won the dismissal of a lawsuit in New York accusing them of trafficking in assets that Fidel Castro’s government seized in 1960 from the former owners of a Cuban bank.

The case had sought damages estimated at several hundred million dollars.

It was brought by 12 heirs, mostly children and grandchildren, of Carlos and Pura Nuñez, who had owned Banco Nuñez before and during the Cuban Revolution.

SocGen and Paribas were accused of evading U.S. sanctions by doing business with Cuba’s central bank after it nationalized and absorbed Banco Nuñez and other lenders, resulting in more than $1 billion of profit for the French banks since 2000.

But in Thursday’s decision, U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil said that despite claims by a SocGen whistleblower, the heirs lacked proof that SocGen funds kept flowing through Banco Nacional de Cuba even after the French bank was warned about it.

The Manhattan judge also said she lacked jurisdiction over BNP Paribas, which according to the heirs “routinely” provided cash in Switzerland to the Cuban central bank and transacted with entities that did business with it.

Vyskocil also said many claims against BNP Paribas were too old.

Lawyers for the heirs did not immediately respond to requests for comment. SocGen and BNP Paribas declined to comment.

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