Blessings in No Time defendants denied motion to dismiss
Defendants LaShonda and Marlon Moore have had their Motion to Dismiss the FTC’s fraud case against them dismissed.
The FTC filed suit against the Moores last June, pertaining to the Blessings in No Time (BINT) gifting scheme.
What makes the denial of the motion to dismiss particularly interesting, is that the Moores (right) had refused to participate in discovery pending its outcome.
On March 7th the FTC filed a 26(f) report, detailing discovery issues with the BINT defendants.
Defendants have refused to comply with this Court’s scheduling order by
(1) failing to contribute to this 26(f) report;
(2) objecting to responding substantively to any of Plaintiffs discovery requests; and
(3) interfering with discovery by sending a letter to a third-party subpoena recipient suggesting that it not comply with the FTC’s subpoena on the basis of their pending motions.
In denying the Moore’s motion to dismiss, the court also denied as moot several other pending motions. This in turn meant that any procedural objections to discovery the Moores had were now also moot.
Pending discovery sought by the FTC includes details of
- BINT’s operations;
- the identity of BINT participants;
- restrictions put in place to stop BINT participants from discussing the scheme online;
- the Moore’s assets;
- BINT related payments between the Moores and other family members;
- BINT related payments between the Moores and “any person or entity”;
- rigging of BINT payments to favor the Moores and their families;
- payments to participants;
- the Moores’ and their families’ BINT related profits;
- the amount stolen from consumers;
- litigation between the Moores and the Texas AG, alleging they ran a pyramid scheme;
- whether appropriate evidence preservation has been adhered to; and
- knowledge of “any state or federal investigation or enforcement action”.
The FTC has put forth a discovery schedule ending December 11th, 2022. If approved by the court, this will push back the previously scheduled October bench trial.
The Moores’ Motion to Dismiss was denied on March 31st. At time of publication there are no further filings on the docket.
Stay tuned for updates as we continue to track the case.
Update 6th May 2022 – There’s been a bit of movement on the docket regarding the Moore’s legal defense.
On April 8th the Defendant’s attorney filed a Motion to Withdraw.
On April 11th the FTC filed a response to the motion, stating;
After months of improperly refusing to participate in discovery, defense counsel now seeks to withdraw from this matter mere days before Defendants’ Answers and amended discovery responses are due.
In addition to prejudicing Plaintiffs by causing preventable delay, counsel’s withdrawal would leave Corporate Defendant BINT Operations LLC unrepresented in federal court.
Defendants are silent concerning the basis for this request, merely offering to provide an explanation if the Court requests one.
Later that same day the Defendants filed a motion requesting till May 15th to file their answer to the FTC’s complaint.
Despite requesting an extension, a few days later on April 14th they filed an answer.
As of May 5th the defendants appear to have found new counsel, an attorney from Texas.
The court has made no ruling on the motion to withdraw, motion for an extension, or the May 5th motion for leave to appear filed by the Texas attorney.
Update 2nd June 2022 – The court has partially granted the motion for an extension.
The May 18th order resets the previously scheduled May 22nd trial date.
The Court will reset the trial date for Monday, 5/22/2023, and will set revised pre-trial deadlines by separate order.
As of yet no further orders have been issued. I’ll continue to monitor for updates.