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United States v. Swiss American Bank, Ltd.
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
191 F.3d 30 (1999)
John Fitzgerald deposited over $7 million linked to criminal acts in Swiss American Bank, Ltd., and Swiss American National Bank (collectively, Swiss American) (defendants), banks established in Antigua. Fitzgerald was convicted of a felony in Massachusetts, and the court ordered forfeiture of the deposited funds. Swiss American transferred $5 million to the Antiguan government and seized the remainder after receiving notification of the forfeiture. The United States government (plaintiff) filed a civil suit in the United States District Court of the District of Massachusetts against Swiss American and other banks that acted similarly. Swiss American moved to dismiss the claims, arguing the Massachusetts district court lacked personal jurisdiction. The United States argued in part that Swiss American was subject to personal jurisdiction in the District of Massachusetts under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(k)(2) (Rule 4(k)(2)) because Swiss American had sufficient contacts with the United States as a whole to justify federal jurisdiction even if Swiss American did not have sufficient contacts with any one state to establish jurisdiction in that state. The district court granted Swiss American’s motion to dismiss because the government failed to show that Swiss American was not subject to personal jurisdiction in any of the 50 states. The United States appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Selya, J.)
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