Grossman LLP Obtains Summary Judgment on Behalf of Lender Against Former Hedge-Fund Billionaire
05/25/2023Grossman LLP has secured summary judgment dismissing a former hedge-fund billionaire’s claims that our client issued a usurious loan. Falcone v. BLCE, Index No. 656411/2011 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. May 24, 2023).
In 2019, our client extended a short-term loan secured by a 20.45-carat Harry Winston platinum-diamond engagement ring that the borrower claimed was worth over $6 million. After the borrower failed to repay the loan timely, the parties extended the due date through a series of additional short-term loans. Eventually, though, by February 2022—twenty-two months after the inception of the original loan—the borrower had paid only fifteen months of interest and had repaid no principal. Accordingly, the lender declared the loan in default, and the ring was sold at auction to satisfy the outstanding loan obligations.
Several months later, the borrower filed suit, alleging that the terms of the loan were civilly and criminally usurious. After full briefing and oral argument, the Court rejected that claim, holding “the Court believes that the defendant has established as a matter of law that the loan was not usurious” because “the payback periods in the November 9, 2020, agreement were left over from the prior loan agreements,” and our client “was clearly giving the plaintiff further opportunity to repay the prior loans, and not instituting new required interest payments.” The Court therefore entered summary judgment in our client’s favor, dismissing the borrower's usury and replevin claims as a matter of law.
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