United States District Court, D. South Carolina
Beattie B. Ashmore, in his capacity as court-appointed receiver for Ronnie Gene Wilson and Atlantic Bullion and Coin, Inc., Plaintiff,
Jim Dodds, Defendant.
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 this action against Defendant
Jim Dodds (“Defendant”) to recover grossly
excessive payments received by Defendant as a return on his
investment in the Wilson-AB&C Ponzi scheme.
matter is before the court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Reconsideration. (ECF No. 101.) Specifically, Plaintiff
requests that the court reconsider the Order certifying to
the South Carolina Supreme Court the questions of law
regarding South Carolina choice of law rules for fraudulent
conveyance and unjust enrichment claims. (ECF No. 102.)
Defendant opposes Plaintiff's Motion, asserting that it
should be denied. (ECF No. 106.) For the reasons set forth
below, the court DENIES Plaintiff's
Motion for Reconsideration (ECF No. 101).
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
is the court-appointed receiver in In Re: Receiver for
Ronnie Gene Wilson and Atlantic Bullion & Coin,
Inc., No. 8:12-cv-02078-JMC, ECF No. 1 (D.S.C. July 25,
2012), a case related to this matter. Plaintiff alleges that
“[o]n February 29, 1996, Defendant made an initial
‘investment' [in the Wilson-AB&C Ponzi scheme]
of $28, 300.00.” (ECF No. 1 ¶ 24.)
“Subsequently, Defendant made eight additional
‘investments' totaling $306, 500.00 between
December 2000 and April 2009, for a total investment of $334,
800.00.” (Id. ¶ 25.) Plaintiff further
alleges that “Defendant received $1, 532, 983.00 in
returns [from the Wilson-AB&C Ponzi scheme] between March
2004 and December 2011, resulting in a profit of $1, 198,
183.00.” (Id. ¶ 26.)
on his appointment as the receiver tasked with
“locating, managing, recouping, and distributing the
assets of the Wilson-AB&C investment scheme, ”
Plaintiff commenced this action against Defendant on February
6, 2015, asserting claims for fraudulent conveyance (in
violation of the Statute of Elizabeth, SC Code Ann. §
27-23-10 (2014) and/or the Florida Uniform Fraudulent
Transfer Act (“FUFTA”), Fla. Stat. Ann.
§§ 726.101-726.201) and unjust enrichment. (ECF No.
1 ¶¶ 1, 38-52.)
19, 2017, the parties filed their Motions for Summary
Judgment. (ECF Nos. 70, 71.) As relevant here, Plaintiff
asserted that under South Carolina choice of law rules, South
Carolina law applies to both his claim for fraudulent
conveyance and his claim for unjust enrichment, and that
Florida law does not apply to these claims. (ECF No. 73 at
6-9; see also ECF No. 70 at 6-12 (applying only
South Carolina law to claims)). Defendant asserted that,
under South Carolina choice of law rules, Florida law governs
both claims, and that South Carolina law is inapplicable.
(ECF No. 71 at 6-8; ECF No. 74 at 4; ECF No. 77 at 3-5).
5, 2017, the court denied in part Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment, disposing of several arguments he raised.
(ECF No. 95.) The court further determined that it would
certify to the Supreme Court of South Carolina questions
regarding whether the substantive law of South Carolina or
Florida should apply to the claims brought by Plaintiff.
(Id. at 37.) As a result, the court reserved ruling
on the remainder of Defendant's Motion and on
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment until after the
Supreme Court answered or otherwise disposed of the certified
August 2, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Reconsideration,
asserting that certification is unnecessary because he is
entitled to summary judgment on his unjust enrichment claims,
regardless of whether South Carolina or Florida law applies.
(ECF No. 101.) Also on August 2, 2017, the court filed the
Certification Order with the Supreme Court of South Carolina.
(ECF No. 102.)
August 28, 2017, Defendants filed a response in opposition to
Plaintiff's Motion, asserting that the choice of South
Carolina or Florida law could have an effect on the outcome
of Plaintiff's unjust enrichment claims against Defendant
because there are differences in both the applicable
substantive law and the manner in which the limitations
period is applied. (ECF No. 106.)
September 11, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Reply to
Defendant's response, in large part reasserting his
position in his Motion for Reconsideration. (ECF No. 110.) On
September 18, 2017, Defendant filed a Sur-Reply to
Plaintiff's Reply, in large part reasserting his position
in his response in opposition to Plaintiff's Motion. (ECF
Supreme Court of South Carolina issued an Order agreeing to
answer the questions certified to it by this
court. (ECF No. 113.)
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).