Law Firm Firm Accused of Faking Structured Settlement Approvals

By Carla Main | July 14, 2015

Stone Street Capital LLC sued a Manhattan law firm it retained to seek court approvals for structured settlements, claiming the firm gave them 76 fake judicial orders.

The Maryland-based company, which purchases the rights to structured settlements from individuals in exchange for lump-sum payments, hired Paris & Chaikin PLLC to file the papers in state courts in New York seeking approval of the sales.

In addition to the firm, the company sued partners Jason Paris and Ian M. Chaikin and a paralegal, Thomas Rubino.

Paris and Chaikin told Stone Street they were experienced in presenting structured-settlement transactions to New York courts, the company said in a filing.

The firm advised Stone Street to send them the case files, which would be assigned to Rubino, “who was experienced in handling these types of files,” the company said. The law firm told Stone Street Rubino would be supervised at all times, according to the complaint.

Stone Street sent more than 100 files to Paris & Chaikin, from 2009 to 2013, with Rubino as the company’s main point of contact. The firm advised Stone Street of court scheduling matters and would send Stone Street “a file stamped order,” the company said.

In October 2013, Chaikin and Paris visited their client to advise that they had “uncovered irregularities” and were aware of at least one phony court order, Stone Street claims. The firm was uncertain how many others like it there might be.

Seventy-six court orders were falsified, Stone Street claims. When it disclosed the problems to the insurance companies, they stopped making payments to Stone Street and institutional investors, the company said in a filing.

The law firm, Chaikin and Paris “failed to exercise the care, skill and diligence commonly possessed” by the legal profession, Stone Street said. They also did not properly supervise Rubino, the company claims.

Chaikin, Paris and Kevin Szczepanski, the lawyer representing Stone Street, didn’t respond to calls seeking comment about the lawsuit. Rubino could not be contacted.

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