Complaint- Southern District of Mississippi

February 4, 2023

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI

 

IKECHUKWU H. OKORIE,

                                  Plaintiff

    vs.  

WELLS FARGO BANK, and PHILIP HEARN and [ENTER NAME]

                                Defendants

Case No. ______________Honorable: _____________

 

COMPLAINT

  1. COMES NOW Plaintiff IKECHUKWU H. OKORIE, with this complaint against the Defendants WELLS FARGO BANK, as follows:  

PARTIES

  1. Complainant, IKECHUKWU H. OKORIE, an individual of address 107 Ralph Rawls Rd Hattiesburg, MS 39402, and is the owner and/or proprietor of Inland Family Practice Center LLC.; Royal Oaks RENTAL Properties LLC; and SLOCUM-Radson MEDICAL LABORATORIES, Inc.
  2. Defendant, WELLS FARGO BANK of address [ENTER ADDRESS] is is an American multinational financial services company. 
  3. Defendant, PHILIP HEARN of address [ENTER ADDRESS] is is an Attorney.  
  4. Defendant, [ENTER NAME] of address [ENTER ADDRESS] (hereinafter “Trustee”) is is the Trustee in Plaintiff’s Bankruptcy case at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.  

JURISDICITON AND VENUE

  1. This court has federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1331 since it involves the violations of federal law. Declaratory relief is available pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202. Plaintiffs also invoke this Court’s pendent jurisdiction.
  2. Venue is proper in this district under 28 U.S.C. § 1391 as Plaintiff and some/all of the Defendants are subject to personal jurisdiction in this state. Notably, Plaintiff and some/all of the Defendants live within the jurisdiction of this Court. Besides, a substantial part of the acts and omissions forming the basis of these claims occurred in the Southern District of Mississippi and arose from the actions or inactions of the Defendants. 

FACTS

  1. Defendant Wells Fargo filled a lawsuit in 2018 at the Circuit Court of Forrest County, Mississippi, Case No. W18-0064. This lawsuit stems from a line of credit issued to Plaintiff’s Inland Family Practice and non-purchase real estate loan. When Plaintiff’s business fell on hard times it was difficult to keep making payments. 
  2. Plaintiff continued negotiations with Wells Fargo and the negotiations fell apart because of Wells Fargo’s unwillingness to work with Plaintiff. 
  3. Wells Fargo then moved to file this lawsuit. The lawsuit was served to Plaintiff on April 27th , 2018 at Inland Family Practice Center at 908 W. Pine Street in Hattiesburg, MS 39401. 
  4. Immediately, Plaintiff reached out to Mr. Hearn to represent Plaintiff in the lawsuit. No one told Plaintiff that his wife Mrs. Vivian Okorie was served in the lawsuit. Plaintiff is not an agent for Mrs. Vivian Okorie to receive service for her at Inland Family Practice. 
  5. During the said lawsuit, Plaintiff was preparing his defenses and was hoping for a court date to show up at the hearing only to find out that there was a Judgment entered against him and Inland through lien filing. This led to Inland and Plaintiff filing for bankruptcy on November 6, 2018. 
  6. Plaintiff reached out to the court to ascertain what has transpired and was shocked to see the transcript. When Plaintiff reached out to Mr. Hearn, he told Plaintiff that Plaintiff doesn’t have any appeals right. Plaintiff then made efforts to appeal the said decision but did not get any notifications from the court but later found out that the appeals court waited for Plaintiff’s motions and later dismissed the case. 
  7. It is worth noting that the judge in that case specifically told Defendant Mr. Philip Hearn that represented Inland and Plaintiff to review the judgment with Plaintiff prior to signing but the lawyer did not do so. Not only did Mr. Hearn not do what the Judge instructed him to review with Plaintiff but waited until Wells Fargo rolled the judgment in on all the properties to let Plaintiff know.
  8. Wells Fargo rolled that judgment to a building owned by Royal Oaks in Destin and also properties in Forrest County. During Bankruptcy, Wells Fargo filed a secured lien of which they were paid $360,000 based on this Fraudulent judgment secured in the court. Wells Fargo was also on the Inland Chapter 11 plan where they agreed on monthly payments which have been current. Exhibit 4. Plaintiff did not know of the Circuit Court Judgment until he got service about the liens that a hearing was even done on the matter.
  9. Plaintiff’s debt has so far been discharged in the Bankruptcy court. 
  10. On around middle of October, Plaintiff’s wife Mrs. Vivian Okorie received a signed order of interrogatories from this court giving her 30 days to respond. Mrs. Vivian did never get any summons on this lawsuit or any motions for any hearing throughout this lawsuit. 
  11. Plaintiff reached out to Mr. Hearn to find out what has transpired. Mr. Hearn instructed him that he does not represent Plaintiff anymore and he never represented Mrs. Vivian Okorie in this lawsuit. He also stated that Plaintiff should never contact him again.  Plaintiff went to the courts to see what had transpired only to find out that Wells Fargo served Plaintiff’s wife Mrs. Vivian and mailed the motion to 39 Pleasant Pond Loop, Hattiesburg MS 39402. An old home address Plaintiff and his Wife  left 13 years ago. 
  12. Wells Fargo deliberately served Plaintiff’s wife the motion for the interrogatories to a non-existent lawyer Mr. Hearn and at an address, which Plaintiff used 13 years ago. This was done to fraudulently get the court to sign off on the interrogatories. Further, the hearing was done on zoom with no notification to Plaintiff and his wife.
  13. Wells Fargo is now going after Plaintiff’s wife Mrs. Vivian Okorie for the debt discharged in this bankruptcy with added interest of $115,000 and lawyer fees after getting $360,000 from the trustee on a dischargeable judgment lien. 
  14. The Destin property was sold for $1.5MILLION by the bankruptcy trustee and 912 W. Pine Hattiesburg MS 39402 a mortgage sold for $204,000 making a total of $1.704Million. 
  15. The first bank loan which was a non-purchase loan was paid with the proceeds of these loans made to Inland.
  16. Wells Fargo was paid $220,000 from the proceeds PLUS $140,000 FROM 912 W. Pine building.  Exhibit 1a and b (loan settlement on the two properties sold to the benefit of Judgment lien by Wells Fargo) 
  17. Wells Fargo did not want to get more money from the Defendant Bankruptcy Trustee because they have been charging interest on the judgment to the tune of $115,000 plus additional per diem $35/day since July, 2021. 
  18. Majority of these interests was added while this case was in bankruptcy. 
  19. There is still $261,888 left over from the sale of these two properties. 
  20. During the negotiations for the sale, the Trustee stated that she was doing Plaintiff and his wife a favor to sell the property and pay Wells Fargo in full. See Exhibit 2.  (e-mail from The Trustee Mrs. Kim stating that she wants to pay Wells Fargo in full).
  21. After the sale Plaintiff and his wife do not know where the remaining of the money has gone. Plaintiff has asked the US Trustee’s office to see how it is possible that a secured creditor could get less on a secured security. This money was enough to satisfy Wells Fargo’s judgment if it was legitimately applied as promised by the trustee. Exhibit 3. (Letter to US Trustees office). 
  22. Mrs. Vivian did not object to any sale of Plaintiff’s marital properties in this bankruptcy because the trustee said her aim is to pay off Wells Fargo since Mrs. Vivian was a guarantor to their loans. 
  23. Majority of the debt in this bankruptcy were loan made to Inland Family Practice that Plaintiff personally guaranteed. None of the building the Trustee has sold was purchased by loan money mortgage. 
  24. Wells Fargo’s continued harassment and intimidation tactics on debt collection as to this bankruptcy case, and is nothing but deplorable. 

CLAIMS FOR RELIEF

COUNT 1

FRAUD

(Against all Defendants)

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. The Defendants, jointly and/or separately fraudulently induced and/or made fraudulent misrepresentations to the Plaintiff, which conduct caused and/or was meant to illegally, improperly or otherwise cause or attempt to cause the Plaintiff to fall into bankruptcy.
  3. Defendant Wells Fargo failed to properly serve Plaintiff in the Circuit Court case. Notably, Wells Fargo served Plaintiff’s wife- who is not Plaintiff’s agent, and intentionally effected the service on a wrong address.  Wells Fargo also failed to disclose the fact that hearing was going on for the case. Had Wells Fargo properly informed Plaintiff, Plaintiff would have prepared defenses in the case, and Plaintiff’s property would not have been placed under a lien. 

Defendant Phillip Hearne failed to interpret the judgment to Plaintiff as required by the Court. On page 6 of transcript when the court asked Mr. Hearn if he needed time to look over the proposed final judgment Mr. Hearn again stated clearly:  “I do, your Honor. I do —-I would like to run it by my client to make sure he has—-“. This again is clear fraud on the courts for Plaintiff was never aware of this fraudulent proposed judgment neither was Plaintiff’s wife aware of it. Besides, Phillip Hearne misrepresented to Plaintiff that the Judgment was not appealable. However, in real sense, the Appeal Court had been waiting for Plaintiff’s appeal papers all along, and later dismissed the case. Further, Phillip Hearne notified Plaintiff of the Judgment only after Wells Fargo had entered the lien on Plaintiff’s property. 

  1. Defendant Trustee has failed to properly apply the Plaintiff’s property to settle Plaintiff’s debts. The Trustee has also failed to account for the sale of Plaintiff’s property. 
  2. Defendants knew or should have known that had they informed Plaintiff of any and all facts as already alleged, Plaintiff would not have fallen into bankruptcy. 
  3. Plaintiff emphasizes that had he known of the aforesaid facts in the proceeding of the case, Plaintiff would have sought the redress of the law to protect his rights to his property.
  4. As a result of the Defendants’ fraudulent conduct as alleged above, Plaintiff has incurred massive costs. First, Plaintiff has been forced into bankruptcy. Also, Plaintiff has incurred pecuniary losses consequential to Defendants’ conduct alleged herein.

COUNT 2

VIOLATION OF DUE PROCESS RIGHTS

(14th Amendment, U.S. Constitution)

(Against all Defendants)

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. Plaintiff was entitled to sufficient notice of the Circuit Court’s hearing dates, and the Judgment. Further, Plaintiff had a right to fair hearing, which includes the right to be heard and present his defenses in the Circuit Court case. Lastly, Plaintiff has the right to have his property deprived only following due procedure of the law, which includes sufficient notice thereof.
  3. Defendants violated Plaintiff’s due process rights as already alleged in Count 1 above. Notably, Wells Fargo failed to properly serve Plaintiff. Wells Fargo also went ahead to have a hearing without Plaintiff’s attendance. Defendant Phillip Hearne failed to timely notify and interpret the judgment to Plaintiff. Lastly, the Trustee failed to properly account for Plaintiff’s property.
  4. As a result of Defendants’ actions alleged herein, Plaintiff has suffered incidental, consequential, and compensatory damages, costs and expenses in an amount One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000.00), but to be determined by the trier of fact.
  5. Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages of an amount One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000.00), but to be determined by the trier of fact.

COUNT 3

NEGLIGENCE/BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTIES 

(Against Philip Hearn and Trustee)

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. Each of the said Defendants owed to the Plaintiff a duty of ordinary care, good faith and otherwise and a fiduciary relationship existed between said parties.
  3. Each of the said Defendants was bound by fiduciary duties on behalf of                             and for the Plaintiffs as created by law, rule, equity and/or regulation.
  4. Defendant Phillip Hearne was bound to consider Plaintiff’s best interests as he represented Plaintiff in the said suit. 
  5. Defendant Trustee was duty bound to administer the estate on behalf of the Plaintiff in a legally responsible manner. 
  6. Defendant Phillip Hearne breached the aforesaid duty by failing to interpret the judgment to Plaintiff as required by the Court. Phillip Hearne also misrepresented to Plaintiff that the Judgment was not appealable. However, in real sense, the Appeal Court had been waiting for Plaintiff’s appeal papers all along, and later dismissed the case. Further, Phillip Hearne notified Plaintiff of the Judgment only after Wells Fargo had entered the lien on Plaintiff’s property. 
  7. Defendant Trustee breached the duty by failing to properly apply the Plaintiff’s property to settle Plaintiff’s debts. The Trustee has also failed to account for the sale of Plaintiff’s property.
  8. As a direct and proximate result hereof, the Plaintiff has suffered incidental, consequential, and compensatory damages, costs and expenses in an amount One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000.00), but to be determined by the trier of fact.
  9. The acts and/or omissions of each Defendant were deliberate, intentional, knowing, willful, reckless, and/or malicious.
  10. Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages of an amount One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000.00), but to be determined by the trier of fact.

COUNT 4

INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS 

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. The conduct of the Plaintiffs, as set forth above, were extreme, and outrageous.
  3. Defendants ought to have reasonably known that their actions and/or inactions would cause severe harm on Plaintiff. 
  4. The Defendants filed to consider the adverse effects of their actions and/or inactions on Plaintiff. Notably, they failed to acknowledge the fact that such conduct would lead Plaintiff into bankruptcy, and would make Plaintiff incur unprecedented costs.
  5. As a direct and proximate result hereof, the Plaintiff has suffered incidental, consequential, and compensatory damages, costs and expenses in an amount One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000.00), but to be determined by the trier of fact.
  6. Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages of an amount One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000.00), but to be determined by the trier of fact.

 

COUNT 5

DECLARATORY RELIEF

(Against all Defendants)

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. There now exists, between the parties hereto, a dispute and controversy to which the Plaintiff and the Defendants are entitled to have a declaration of their rights and further relief relating to the facts and circumstances as set forth in this action.
  3. Plaintiff respectfully request this Honorable Court issue a declaratory judgment declaring that the actions and/or inactions of the Defendants violate the rights of Plaintiff, and issue appropriate remedies thereof. 

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff is entitled to damages from the Defendants, and he hereby prays that judgment be entered in his favor and against the Defendants as follows:

Complainant seeks the following remedies:

  1. That the Court orders damages in the amount of One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000.00) for the Defendants’ conduct alleged herein.
  2. That the Court grants Declaratory Order against Defendants for their actions and/or inactions alleged herein. 
  3. Interest as provided by law;
  4. An award of fees and costs;
  5. That the Court issues any other order that this institution deems just. 

 

Respectfully submitted:

 

 

Dated: __________

 

CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

I, [ENTER NAME], certified on this ______day of ________ 2021, I deposited a true copy of the above to the Defendants by placing the documents with prepaid postage in the United States mailbox address.

 

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