Linde et al v. Arab Bank, PLC
ORDER: All conspiracy claims under ATA are dismissed. So Ordered by Judge Nina Gershon on 5/8/2013. Associated Cases: 1:04-cv-02799-NG-VVP et al. (Lee, Tiffeny)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
COURTNEY LINDE, et al.,
- against -
and related cases 1
ARAB BANK, PLC,
NINA GERSHON, United States District Judge:
During oral argument on April 24, 2013, on defendant Arab Bank's motion for summary
judgment, decision was reserved with respect to whether plaintiffs' civil conspiracy claims
would be dismissed in light of Rothstein v. UBS AG, 708 F.3d 82, 97-98 (2d Cir. 2013). In
Rothstein, the Second Circuit held that the Anti-Terrorism Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2331 et seq.
("ATA"), does not permit civil claims for aiding and abetting liability under § 2333(a). The
Court, following Central Bank of Denver v. First Interstate Bank of Denver, 511 U.S. 164
(1994), noted that '"Congress has not enacted a general civil aiding and abetting statue,"'
Rothstein, 708 F.3d at 97 (citing Cent. Bank of Denver, 511 U.S. at 182), and that § 2333 is
"silent as to the permissibility of aiding and abetting liability." Id. Considering that Congress
had specifically provided for criminal aiding and abetting liability elsewhere in the ATA, see,
e.g., § 2339B(d)(l)(F) (providing for jurisdiction over aiders and abetters who knowingly
provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization); § 2332g(b)(5) (same
The following related cases have been consolidated with this case for the purposes of discovery and other pretrial
proceedings: Philip Litle, et al. v. Arab Bank, PLC, 04-CV-5449; Oran A/mag, et al. v. Arab Bank, PLC, 04-CV5564; Robert L. Coulter, Sr., et al. v. Arab Bank, PLC, 05-CV-365; Gila Afriat-Kurtzer, et al. v. Arab Bank, PLC,
05-CV-388; Michael Bennett, et al. v. Arab Bank, PLC, 05-CV-3183; Arnold Roth, et al. v. Arab Bank, PLC, 05CV-0378; Stewart Weiss, et al. v. Arab Bank, PLC, 06-CV-1623; Joseph Jesner, et al. v. Arab Bank, PLC, 06-CV3869; Yaffa Lev, et al. v. Arab Bank, PLC, 08-CV-3251; and Viktoria Agurenko, et al. v. Arab Bank, PLC, 10-CV626.
with respect to aiding and abetting the production and possession of antiaircraft missile systems),
§ 2332h(b)(5) (same with respect to aiding and abetting the production and possession of
radiological dispersal devices); § 2339D(b)(6) (same with respect to aiding and abetting the
receipt of military training from a foreign terrorist organization), the Second Circuit expressed
doubt that Congress "can have intended § 2333 to authorize civil liability for aiding and abetting
through its silence." Rothstein, 708 F.3d at 98.
It is likely that the Second Circuit would treat claims for civil conspiracy as akin to civil
aiding and abetting claims under § 2333(a).
The Second Circuit has already extended the
reasoning of Central Bank of Denver to claims for civil conspiracy under § 1O(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b), and Rule lOb-5, 17 C.F.R. § 240.lOb-5, in
Dinsmore v. Squadron, Ellenoff, Plesent, Sheinfeld & Sorkin, 135 F.3d 837, 841 (2d Cir. 1998).
In that case, the Second Circuit observed that:
Just as Congress clearly knew how to impose aiding and abetting liability when it
chose to do so, thereby suggesting that its absence from § lO(b) should not be
disregarded, the existence of statutes expressly providing for conspiracy liability .
. . warrants the same conclusion here. Accordingly, implying a cause of action for
conspiracy would be "inconsistent with settled methodology in § 1O(b) cases" for
precisely the same reasons that the Supreme Court refused to imply a cause of
action for aiding and abetting in Central Bank-it would "extend liability beyond
the scope of conduct prohibited by the statutory text."
Id. at 841 (quoting Central Bank, 511 U.S. at 177). Here, as with aiding and abetting liability,
the Second Circuit is likely to hold that § 2333(a) does not provide for claims for civil
At oral argument, plaintiffs suggested that Rothstein is best read as holding only that, in
the absence of explicit language, a court should not read into a civil cause of action a "common
law" aiding and abetting theory. Conspiracy liability, according to plaintiffs, is different because
§§ 2339A, 2339B, and 2339C specifically refer to criminal conspiracy. This argument ignores
the reasoning of Rothstein, 708 F.3d at 98, that inclusion of criminal aiding and abetting liability
in the ATA counsels against interpreting silence in the civil statute to include aiding and abetting
Put another way, under Rothstein, silence regarding civil conspiracy liability in §
2333(a) speaks louder than criminal conspiracy liability set forth in other provisions of the ATA.
For the reasons stated above, all conspiracy claims under the ATA are dismissed.
s/ electronic signature NG
I V _ .. .,..
J vVV,- 1 .....,__
United States District Judge
Dated: May __[, 2013
Brooklyn, New York
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