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Posted: January 24, 2017

Inquiry Notice of Fraud Existed When Party Received PPM That Contradicted Oral Promises

On January 19, 2017, First Department issued a decision in Hamrick v. Guralnick, 2017 NY Slip Op. 00400, holding that a party was on inquiry notice of an alleged fraud when it received a private placement memorandum containing statements that contradicted the oral representations upon which it was suing, explaining:

The fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty claims are time-barred. These claims accrued upon plaintiffs’ making their investments. Plaintiffs were placed on inquiry notice of the alleged fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty when they received the private placement memorandum, which expressly contradicted defendants’ alleged oral representations that the investments’ tax strategy was tested and valid, when they saw — immediately — that they were not receiving the promised returns, and when they learned that the tax strategy was ultimately repudiated by the IRS. Since plaintiffs commenced this action more than six years after the date of their investments and more than two years after they had constructive knowledge of the alleged fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty, these claims are time-barred.

(Internal citations omitted).

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