Appeal Victory -- Court of Appeal Agrees that Penal Code Section 496(c) Allows Recovery of Triple Damages and Attorney Fees for Failure to Repay a Loan if Money Gained Through False Pretense.

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The case involved a loan made by our client to the defendant, Igal Feibush. Feibush and his entities failed to repay the loan, and we were retained by the plaintiff to sue. Penal Code section 496(c) makes it illegal to receive stolen property, and provides for a civil action to recovery any losses. We included a cause of action under that statute, arguing that Feibush had used a false pretense to obtain the money from our client. Basically, he told her he had a certain valuable trademark, and that the money from the licensing of that trademark would be used to repay the loan. It turned out he did not own that trademark, and he made no money from its licensing.

The trial court agreed that 496(c) applied, and awarded three times the amount borrowed, plus all attorney fees. Feibush appealed, but the Court of Appeal affirmed.

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