The team at Lewitas Hyman recently employed an Illinois state statute known as the “Respondent in Discovery” statute to uncover facts that allowed us to name Village Bank & Trust, a Wintrust Community Bank, as a defendant in a Ponzi scheme case stemming from a $2 million loss by our client. The Respondent in Discovery statute permits parties to seek discovery from non-parties in the lawsuit to determine, among other things, if they should be named as a defendant. Our team was able to uncover sufficient evidence to name Village Bank as a party to the ongoing lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that Village Bank is liable for its conduct—alongside other defendants including Robert Walberg, Chartwell Strategies, LP, and Chartwell Advisory Group, LLP, with reference to their respective roles—which caused our client to lose his entire $2 million investment.
As alleged in the lawsuit and as relevant to Village Bank, Defendant Robert Walberg, who passed away in 2020, opened up LLC bank accounts at Village Bank that were used to perpetuate his fraud. In 2018, Village Bank discovered Walberg engaged in check-kiting and filed a police report, but allowed him to continue using the bank accounts despite having policies in place under which the accounts should have been closed.
As further alleged in the lawsuit, during this time period Village Bank was actively monitoring Walberg’s accounts and could see that investor deposits were being used to pay redemption requests for other investors, a clear indicator of a Ponzi scheme. Around the same time, Village Bank also knew that Walberg was under investigation by the Illinois Securities Division. These and other relevant facts uncovered by Lewitas Hyman served as the basis for the Court to allow us to pursue claims against Village Bank.
If you believe you may have been the victim of investment fraud perpetrated against you by a financial professional, contact Lewitas Hyman immediately. We have the legal experience and skill set to identify fraudulent activity and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. Contact us today to discuss your concerns with one of our experienced Chicago Ponzi scheme lawyers.