Judge orders emerald attorneys to court
by Adam Linhardt, Keys News, November 8, 2014 (excerpt)
A federal judge wants a prominent corporate lawyer and his Delaware-based firm in Key West to explain this month why they shouldn't pay legal fees to the most famous treasure salvage company in the Keys after it exposed a bogus emerald find.
The Mel Fisher salvage company, Motivation of Key West, has been in court for more than a year regarding a sanctions lawsuit that accuses attorney Bruce Silverstein and his firm, Young Conaway Stargatt and Taylor, of perpetuating a fraud on the court.
Silverstein and his firm represented the treasure hunting company JTR Enterprises LLC, a Delaware company created to hold ownership of the emeralds. Silverstein had an indirect ownership interest in the treasure company, according to court records.
U.S. Senior District Judge James Lawrence King has ordered all the parties involved in the scheme to Key West on Nov. 19 to explain further in light of Motivation's accusations.
Motivation, headed by Mel Fisher's son, Kim Fisher, spent millions working the last four years to prove that the cache of emeralds purportedly found off Key West by JTR was a hoax.
Now-deceased real estate developer cum novice treasure salvor Jay Miscovich and his company, JTR, were exposed in a January federal trial after an emerald dealer from Jupiter testified that Miscovich bought the emeralds from him. The dealer testified the emeralds were worth $60,000 -- not the $500 million that JTR once claimed.
If King finds in favor of Fisher, that means Silverstein, his firm and another JTR backer named Paul Sullivan, a Hawaii resident and former deputy campaign manager for President Bill Clinton, could owe Fisher millions of dollars in attorney fees, or sanctions in legal parlance....
Fisher's claims are not the only troubles facing Silverstein and his firm. They are now facing federal racketeering allegations as a wealthy investors group from New York hoodwinked early on in the emerald case filed a $10.2 million lawsuit against them last month.
That lawsuit contends that Silverstein and his firm violated federal racketeering laws by perpetuating the emerald hoax when they knew, or should have known, it was a scam.
The investors filed the 71-page lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, a federal law that extends criminal and civil penalties against alleged criminal organizations....
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