NY Court denies RCBC plea to change trial venue of cyberheist case

NY Court denies RCBC plea to change trial venue of cyberheist case

/ 02:24 AM June 15, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — The New York Court of Appeals has denied Yuchengco-led Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.’s (RCBC) appeal to have an eight-year-old case tried in another court, further extending its legal battle with the central bank of Bangladesh over an $81-million cyberheist scandal.

In a stock exchange filing on Friday, RCBC said it had received on Thursday a June 13 order from the New York Appellate Division denying the bank’s motion for leave to appeal on the issue of forum non conveniens.

This type of motion is filed when a party asks the court whether the case is better suited to be tried in another venue based on different factors.


READ: Bangladesh suing RCBC over cyberheist


The New York court’s decision means that the case will continue to be tried in the city. RCBC did not disclose to which court it wanted the case to be transferred.

Fictitious accounts

In 2016, hackers stole $81 million from Bangladesh Bank in a controversial cyberheist. The money was later wired to fictitious RCBC accounts before it was immediately withdrawn from the bank’s branch on Jupiter Street in Makati City, and later found to be laundered through local casinos.

READ: Bangladesh Bank, RCBC battle on $81-M cyberheist

The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch No. 149 in 2019 found branch manager Maia Deguito guilty of violating Republic Act No. 9160, or the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

A year later, Bangladesh Bank filed a complaint against RCBC, its officers, and other parties before the New York Supreme Court for alleged conversion, conspiracy, fraud, and “unjust enrichment,” among others.

The high court on Feb. 29 this year dismissed three causes of action (conversion, aiding and abetting conversion, and conspiracy to commit conversion) against RCBC and the defendants linked with the bank.


However, trial on the other courses of action will proceed, the New York Supreme Court said.

RCBC has since been reiterating that it would continue to defend the case. —Meg J. Adonis

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TAGS: cyberheist, RCBC

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