United States District Court, D. New Jersey
BUSLER, FOX ROTHSCHILD LLP, Attorneys for Plaintiff.
E. CARLON KML LAW GROUP, PC, Attorneys for Defendant First
Legacy Community Credit Union.
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
action is one for interpleader relief and comes before the
Court on Plaintiff's motion for interpleader deposit
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1335. For the reasons discussed
below, contingent upon satisfaction of a condition-precedent,
Plaintiff's motion will be granted in part; denied in
part, without prejudice; and denied in part.
Comments Solutions LLC (“CS”) is a business
entity maintaining a bank account with Plaintiff Wells Fargo
Bank, N.A. (“Plaintiff” or “Wells
Fargo”). (ECF No. 1 (“Comp.”) at ¶7).
On June 11, 2018, CS received a wire transfer to its Wells
Fargo account from Defendant First Legacy Bank (“First
Legacy”) in the amount of $134, 025.30. (Comp. at
¶9). After the wire was sent, First Legacy contacted
Wells Fargo to request the wire be recalled due to potential
fraud, and Wells Fargo restrained the remaining proceeds in
the account, some $73, 187.70, pending further investigation.
See (Comp. at ¶¶10-11).
that a dispute now exists between CS and First Legacy
regarding proper ownership of the funds at issue, on January
3, 2019, Plaintiff filed an interpleader complaint with this
Court. (ECF No. 1). On March 4, 2019, First Legacy filed an
answer to the complaint and also filed various cross claims
against CS, and a third-party complaint against Michael
Williams, an alleged co-conspirator of
CS's. (ECF No. 7). First Legacy alleges that
Williams and CS hacked or caused someone to hack into the
email account of First Legacy's Chief Executive Officer
(CEO) and emailed a First Legacy employee impersonating the
CEO, causing an unauthorized wire transfer to be made to
CS's Wells Fargo account. (ECF No. 7 at 4, ¶1).
After initiating the fraudulent transfer, First Legacy
alleges that CS or Williams withdrew more than $60, 000
before Plaintiff could restrain the assets. (ECF No. 7 at 5,
¶2). Wells Fargo requested that CS permit it to remit
the restrained funds to First Legacy, but CS refused. (Comp.
not answered Plaintiff's complaint or otherwise appeared
in this action. Therefore, on March 14, 2019, Plaintiff
requested the Clerk enter default against CS, which the Clerk
entered the following day. (ECF No. 11).
April 15, 2019, Plaintiff filed the present motion for
interpleader deposit. (ECF No. 13). Plaintiff's motion
seeks an order: (1) permitting it to deposit the funds at
issue into the Registry of this Court; (2) dismissing and
discharging it from this action; and (3) awarding it
reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. (ECF No. 13 at 1).
Alternatively, Plaintiff seeks an order permitting it to
deliver the funds at issue to First Legacy. (Id.).
Neither Defendant has opposed Plaintiff's motion.
Subject matter jurisdiction
asserts that this Court may exercise subject matter
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1335 and 28 U.S.C.
U.S.C. § 1335(a) provides that district courts shall
have “original jurisdiction of any civil action of
interpleader” filed by any person, firm, corporation,
association, or society “having in his or its custody
or possession money or property of the value of $500 or
(1) [t]wo or more adverse claimants, of diverse citizenship
as defined in subsection (a) or (d) of section 1332 of this
title, are claiming or may claim to be entitled to ...