California Team Secures Favorable Jury Verdict on Behalf of Plaintiff in Multimillion Dollar Slaughterhouse Fraud Matter

Los Angeles/San Diego, Calif. (August 23, 2023) Los Angeles Partner Craig Holden and San Diego Partner Gary Brucker secured a favorable jury verdict on behalf of a client who invested in a beef slaughterhouse and was defrauded. In this case, the investors entered into a joint venture to fund the slaughterhouse’s government procurement project, which focused on providing ground beef to public schools for their school lunch programs. However, the slaughterhouse’s owner misrepresented the value of the business, misused the investment funds, prevented the investor from accessing joint venture records, failed to pay profits, and commingled the joint venture assets with unrelated assets. As such, Lewis Brisbois’ client filed suit against the slaughterhouse, and the case ultimately proceeded to trial.  

Following the trial, the jury awarded damages to the plaintiff for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, breach of contract, and violation of Penal Code section 496 (receipt of stolen property). The jury also awarded punitive damages. Moreover, the successful claim for violation of Penal Code section 496 also entitles Lewis Brisbois’ client to treble damages and attorneys’ fees. Accordingly, the final judgment in the case is estimated at more than $15 million. 

Mr. Holden serves as a national co-chair of Lewis Brisbois’ Complex Business & Commercial Litigation and White Collar Defense Practices, and as a vice-chair of the firm’s Government Relations Practice. He is a skilled first-chair trial attorney known for his cut-to-the-chase focus. In addition to his federal and state court trial practice, Mr. Holden has served as lead counsel in over 100 international and domestic arbitrations. 

Mr. Brucker is a co-chair of Lewis Brisbois’ Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense Practice. He has experience handling a wide range of complex commercial, white collar, and employment matters, including those involving real estate disputes, licensing agreements, business torts, trade secrets, false advertising, and civil antitrust. 

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