United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Anderson/Greenwood Division
Beattie B. Ashmore, In His Capacity as Court-Appointed Receiver for Ronnie Gene Wilson and Atlantic Bullion and Coin, Inc., Plaintiff,
Claude Williams, Jr. individually and d/b/a Realty Associates and d/b/a Williams Grandchildren's Partnership; Realty Associates, and Williams Grandchildren's Partnership, Defendants.
ORDER AND OPINION
Beattie B. Ashmore (“Plaintiff”), in his capacity
as court-appointed Receiver for Ronnie Gene Wilson
(“Wilson”) and Atlantic Bullion and Coin, Inc.
(“AB&C”), filed the instant action against
Defendants Claude Williams, Jr.
(“Williams”) individually and d/b/a Realty
Associates and d/b/a Williams Grandchildren's
Partnership; Realty Associates (“RA”), and
Williams Grandchildren's Partnership (“WGP”)
(collectively “Defendants”) to recover grossly
excessive payments received by Defendants as a return on
their investment in the Wilson-AB&C Ponzi
scheme. (ECF No. 1.)
matter is before the court as a result of Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rules 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(6) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (ECF No. 8.) Plaintiff
opposes Defendants' Motion to Dismiss in its entirety.
(ECF No. 16.) For the reasons set forth below, the court
DENIES Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.
RELEVANT BACKGROUND TO PENDING MOTION
is the court appointed Receiver in In Re: Receiver for
Ronnie Gene Wilson and Atlantic Bullion & Coin,
Inc., C/A No. 8:12-cv-02078-JMC, ECF No. 1 (D.S.C. July
25, 2012), a case related to the instant matter. Plaintiff
alleges that “[o]n September 7, 2007, Williams,
individually, or on behalf of RA and/or WGP made an initial
‘investment' [in the Wilson-AB&C Ponzi scheme]
of $52, 250.00.” (ECF No. 1 at 5 ¶ 26.)
“Subsequently, Williams, individually, or on behalf of
RA and/or WGP made additional ‘investments'
totaling $715, 110.00 between May 2008 and February 2009, for
a total investment of $767, 360.00.” (Id. at
¶ 27.) Plaintiff further alleges that “Williams,
individually, or on behalf of RA and/or WGP received $1, 056,
952.00 in returns [from the Wilson-AB&C Ponzi scheme]
between December 2008 and June 2009, resulting in a profit of
$289, 592.00.” (Id. at ¶ 28.)
on his appointment as Receiver tasked with “locating,
managing, recouping, and distributing the assets of the
Wilson-AB&C investment scheme, ” Plaintiff
commenced the instant action against Defendants on September
10, 2015, asserting claims for fraudulent transfer (in
violation of the Statute of Elizabeth, SC Code Ann. §
27-23-10 (2014) and/or the Georgia Uniform Fraudulent
Transfer Act, Ga. Code Ann. §§ 18-2-70-18-2-80) and
unjust enrichment. (ECF No. 1 at 1 ¶ 1 & 6 ¶
39-7 ¶ 53.) On November 30, 2015, Defendants filed the
instant Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 8.) Thereafter, on
December 17, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Memorandum in Opposition
to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 16), to which
Defendants filed a Reply Brief in Support of Motion to
Dismiss (ECF No. 17) on January 4, 2016.
court has jurisdiction over this matter under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331 pursuant to Plaintiff's allegation that the
Complaint “is so related to the In Re
Receiver, 8:12-CV-2078-JMC case and the underlying
criminal case, United States v. Wilson, et al,
8:12-cr-00320[, ]” cases in which the court has
jurisdiction, “that it forms part of the underlying
case or controversy.” (ECF No. 1 at 1 ¶ 3.) The
court may properly hear Plaintiff's state law claims for
fraudulent transfer and unjust enrichment based on
supplemental jurisdiction since these claims “are so
related to claims in the action within such original
jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or
controversy . . . .” 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).
Motions to Dismiss for Lack of Personal
defendant challenges the court's personal jurisdiction
under Rule 12(b)(2), plaintiff has the burden of proving that
jurisdiction exists “by a preponderance of the
evidence.” In re Celotex Corp., 124 F.3d 619,
628 (4th Cir. 1997). “[W]hen, as here, a district court
rules on a Rule 12(b)(2) motion without conducting an
evidentiary hearing or without deferring ruling pending
receipt at trial of evidence relevant to the jurisdictional
issue, but rather relies on the complaint and affidavits
alone, ‘the burden on the plaintiff is simply to make a
prima facie showing of sufficient jurisdictional basis in
order to survive the jurisdictional challenge.'”
Id.; see also New Wellington Fin. Corp. v.
Flagship Resort Dev. Corp., 416 F.3d 290, 294 (4th Cir.
2005) (noting that a plaintiff need only make a prima facie
showing of jurisdiction when the court does not conduct an
evidentiary hearing). In deciding whether plaintiff has met
this burden, the court construes all disputed facts and draws
all reasonable inferences from the proof in favor of
jurisdiction. Carefirst of Md., Inc. v. Carefirst
Pregnancy Ctrs., Inc., 334 F.3d 390, 396 (4th Cir.
2003); Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Akzo, N.V., 2 F.3d 56,
60 (4th Cir. 1993). In ruling on a motion to dismiss for lack
of personal jurisdiction, the court may consider evidence
outside of the pleadings, such as affidavits and other
evidentiary materials, without converting the motion to
dismiss into a motion for summary judgment. Magic Toyota,
Inc. v. Se. Toyota Distribs., Inc., 784 F.Supp. 306, 310
Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a
12(b)(6) motion for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted “challenges the legal sufficiency
of a complaint.” Francis v. Giacomelli, 588
F.3d 186, 192 (4th Cir. 2009) (citations omitted); see
also Republican Party of N.C. v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943,
952 (4th Cir. 1992) (“A motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6) . . . does not resolve contests surrounding the
facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of
defenses.”). To be legally sufficient a pleading must
contain a “short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
12(b)(6) motion “should not be granted unless it
appears certain that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts
which would support its claim and would entitle it to
relief.” Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d
1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993). When considering a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion, the court should accept as true all well-pleaded
allegations and should view the complaint in a light most
favorable to the plaintiff. Ostrzenski v. Seigel,
177 F.3d 245, 251 (4th Cir. 1999); Mylan Labs., 7
F.3d at 1134. “To survive a motion to dismiss, a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
Dismissal for Lack of ...