RICO Predicate Acts: Does the Wire Fraud Statute (18 U.S.C. § 1343) Apply Extraterritorially? — Circuit Split
Goltv, Inc. v. Fox Sports Latin Am., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29836 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 26, 2018):
THIS CAUSE came before the Court at a December 15, 2017 hearing [ECF No. 288] on Defendants, Fox Sports Latin America, Ltd. ("FSLA"); Pan American Sports Enterprises Company ("PASEC"); Fox International Channels (US), Inc. ("FIC"); Fox Networks Group, Inc. ("FNG"); Torneos y Competencias, S.A. ("Torneos"); T&T Sports Marketing Ltd. ("T&T"); Hernan Lopez; Carlos Martinez; James Ganley; Alejandro Burzaco; and Juan Angel Napout's Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 255], filed October 9, 2017. Defendants seek dismissal of Plaintiffs, GolTV, Inc. and Global Sports Partners LLP's eleven-count Amended Complaint [ECF No. 78] on the ground it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiffs filed a Memorandum of Law in Opposition [ECF No. 279], to which Defendants filed a Reply [ECF No. 286]. The Court has carefully considered the parties' oral arguments, written submissions, the record, and applicable law. For the [*5] reasons explained below, the Motion is granted in part and denied in part.
The Amended Complaint details how Defendants engaged in a bribery scheme between 2000 and 2015 to ensure Defendant, T&T, would secure exclusive television rights to Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol's ("Conmebol[']s") prestigious international club soccer tournaments: the Copa Libertadores de America, the Copa Sudamericana, and the Recopa Sudamericana (collectively, the "Club Tournaments"). (See Am. Compl. ¶ 3). The Amended Complaint relies on a 92-count Superseding Indictment [ECF Nos. 78-1 through 78-3] from a parallel criminal case in the Eastern District of New York, in which 27 individual defendants have been charged with crimes including racketeering, conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering (see Am. Compl. ¶ 2 (citing United States v. Webb, No. 15-cr-0252 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 25, 2015))); and Torneos's Deferred Prosecution Agreement [ECF No. 78-4] acknowledging criminal culpability for wire fraud conspiracy to pay bribes and kickbacks to Conmebol officials in exchange for their support in awarding Club Tournament television rights to T&T (see Am. Compl. ¶ 6 (citing United States v. Torneos [*6] y Competencias S.A., No. 16-00634-PKC, ECF Nos. 4-1 & 4-2 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 13, 2016))). Plaintiffs allege Defendants' scheme to obtain exclusive television rights for the Club Tournaments injured GolTV and Global Sports, who otherwise would have won bids for Club Tournament television rights. (See generally Am. Compl.).
A. Parties and Relevant Entities
On October 20, 2016, Plaintiffs, GolTV and Global Sports, filed an initial Complaint [ECF No. 1], alleging 16 defendants were involved in the bribery scheme to award and obtain exclusive television rights for the Club Tournaments. (See generally Compl.). On March 6, 2017, Plaintiffs filed the Amended Complaint against 14 defendants, voluntarily dismissing Hugo Jinkis and Mariano Jinkis from this action. (See Pls.' Third Status Report [ECF No. 77] 2). On September 19, 2017, the Court entered an Order [ECF No. 238] dismissing Conmebol and Full Play for lack of personal jurisdiction, further narrowing the list of defendants to those identified below.
While the Amended Complaint discusses multiple players and details several aspects of the bribery scheme, only the parties relevant to the present Motion are discussed.
GolTV, a Florida-based [*7] television channel, provides Spanish and English-language soccer programming in the United States. (See Am. Compl. ¶ 14). GolTV is the only TV channel in the U.S. media market devoted exclusively to soccer. (See id. ¶ 15). GolTV is owned by Francisco "Paco" Casal, a Uruguayan businessman and former soccer player; and Nelson Gutierrez and Enzo Francescoli, former members of the Uruguayan national soccer team. (See id.). GolTV partnered with Global Sports to make offers on the worldwide or Americas television rights from Conmebol, "with the understanding that GolTV would pay for and acquire the U.S. portion of those rights." (Id. ¶ 111).
Global Sports1 is an English partnership formed by Casal and Gutierrez to acquire television and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments for GolTV. (See id. ¶ 16). Global Sports "acted, among other capacities, as an agent for GolTV to attempt to acquire television broadcasting rights to the Club Tournaments." (Id.). "GolTV controlled and coordinated the actions that Global Sports took on behalf of GolTV and Global Sports served the corporate interests of GolTV in seeking to acquire television rights to the Club Tournaments." (Id.).
T&T is a Cayman Islands company, which during the relevant time period was owned by Torneos and Fox Pan American Sports LLC2 — the predecessor company to PASEC. (See id. ¶¶ 5, 17). T&T paid tens of millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks to Conmebol officials between 2000 and 2015 in exchange for the exclusive television rights to the Club Tournaments. (See id. ¶ 3 (citing Superseding Indictment ¶¶ 174-85)). Once the rights to Club Tournaments were licensed to T&T, T&T then sublicensed them to Fox Sports Latin America in order for the tournaments to broadcast on Fox Sports channels in the United States and abroad. (See id. ¶ 7).
PASEC is the surviving entity and legal successor to Fox Pan American Sports LLC, a Delaware limited liability company that did business in Florida as Fox Sports Latin America. (See id. ¶ 18). Fox Pan American owned 75 percent of T&T during most of 2005 to 2015. (See id. ¶ 17). In 2015, Fox Pan American merged with PASEC, which became the surviving entity and legal successor to Fox Pan American. (See id. ¶ 19). PASEC continues to directly or indirectly own 75 percent of T&T. (See id.).
FIC has its principal place of business in Beverly Hills, California [*9] and offices in Florida. (See id. ¶ 20). FIC owned and operated Fox Pan American Sports, and now owns PASEC. (See id. ¶¶ 19-21).
FSLA owns and operates the Fox Sports networks in Latin America as well as Fox Deportes, a Spanish-language sports programming service distributed in the United States. (See id. ¶ 18).
FNG is a Delaware corporation and subsidiary of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (See id. ¶ 22). In January 2016, a corporate reorganization announced FIC would be dissolved and FNG would assume operation of Fox Sports Latin America as the legal successor to FIC. (See id.).
Torneos is an Argentinean sports media and marketing corporation with a number of subsidiaries and affiliates. (See id. ¶ 24). Torneos has historically held exclusive agreements to produce and distribute television programming related to South American league soccer matches. (See id.). On December 13, 2016, Torneos acknowledged criminal culpability to the Department of Justice ("DOJ") for wire fraud conspiracy to pay bribes and kickbacks to Conmebol officials in exchange for their support in awarding the Club Tournament television rights to T&T. (See id. ¶ 6 (citing Torneos DPA)). Torneos agreed to pay over $112.8 [*10] million in forfeiture and criminal penalties after making admissions of its role in the bribery scheme. (See id. ¶ 11). Torneos admitted to paying and causing to be paid annual six-figure, and in some instances seven-figure, bribes and kickback payments in exchange for Club Tournament television rights. (See id. ¶ 7).
Martinez, a Florida resident, is President of FNG Latin America, responsible for the operations of Fox Sports Latin America. (See id. ¶ 26). Martinez was previously President of FIC Latin America, and as such operated Fox Pan American from the FIC offices in Florida. (See id.). Martinez was also on the board of T&T from approximately October 31, 2012 until December 11, 2013. (See id.). Martinez is alleged to have been personally involved in the bribery scheme, including signing an agreement on behalf of T&T to restructure the payment of bribes through intermediaries. (See id. ¶¶ 65, 78).
Lopez, a California resident, was the CEO of FIC from 2011 until January 2016, when he left the company. (See id. ¶ 27). Prior to that, Lopez was the Chief Operating Officer of FIC from 2008 to 2011 and General Manager of Fox Latin American Channels from 2000 to 2008. (See id.). Lopez served [*11] on the board of directors of T&T from approximately June 1, 2010 to December 10, 2013. (See id.).
Ganley, a citizen and resident of Florida, operated Fox Pan American as its Chief Operating Officer and was an employee of FSLA. (See id. ¶ 28). Ganley served on the board of directors of T&T from approximately April 28, 2005 to October 31, 2012. (See id.).
Martinez, Lopez, and Ganley allegedly participated in T&T's payment of bribes to Conmebol officials to ensure FSLA would obtain the television rights for the Club Tournaments through T&T. (See id. ¶¶ 7, 43, 64-66). These executives also served as directors of T&T. (See id. ¶ 8).
Burzaco, an Argentinean citizen, was a principal of T&T and a shareholder, director, and officer of Torneos. (See id. ¶¶ 8, 29). Burzaco was on the T&T board of directors from 2005 to 2013. (See id. ¶ 29). Burzaco had an ownership share in Torneos and served as the company's general manager, legal representative, and president of its board of directors between 2005 and 2015. (See id.). Burzaco was also a principal of Torneos's affiliates and shell companies, which he created and controlled off of Torneos's books. (See id.). He paid bribes to Conmebol officials. [*12] (See id. ¶ 69). In the criminal RICO action, Burzaco pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy involving the bribery of Conmebol officials, including bribery in connection with the television rights for the Club Tournaments. (See id. ¶¶ 4, 30 (citing Webb, Transcript of Criminal Case for Guilty Plea [ECF No. 312-2] 5, 26-28)).
Napout, a citizen of Paraguay who has long maintained a home in Florida, was the president of Conmebol from August 2014 to December 11, 2015. (See id. ¶ 34). Napout served as a Vice President of Conmebol from 2007 to 2014. (See id.). Napout was also a member of Conmebol's Executive Committee from 2007 to 2015. (See id.). Napout is alleged to have received annual six-figure bribe payments from Burzaco in exchange for his cooperation in providing T&T the television rights to the Copa Libertadores tournament from 2011 through 2015. (See id. ¶¶ 69, 76, 84). As the then-President of Conmebol, Napout rejected Plaintiffs' October 2015 offer for the 2019 to 2022 Club Tournament television rights. (See id. ¶¶ 129-31).
B. The Bribery Scheme
Fox and Plaintiffs have previously vied for and continue to compete for television [*13] broadcasting rights to the South American club soccer tournaments run by Conmebol. (See id. ¶¶ 56-58). Estimates suggest the United States accounts for 16 percent of the Copa Libertadores's audience. (See id. ¶ 55). Only Conmebol, by decision of its Executive Committee, can award television rights for the Club Tournaments. (See id. ¶ 59). The combined popularity of these soccer tournaments and Conmebol's unique monopoly over the television rights to telecast Club Tournaments ensure telecasters who obtain the Club Tournament television rights derive significant revenue, including advertising revenue, from the purchase of the rights. (See id. ¶ 58).
T&T acquired the exclusive television rights to the Club Tournaments through bribery and other criminal wrongdoing with the aid of co-conspirators. (See id. ¶ 62 (citing Superseding Indictment ¶¶ 174-75)). From 1999 through 2015, T&T held the exclusive worldwide television rights to the Copa Libertadores. (See id. ¶ 61). From approximately 2002 until 2015, T&T held the exclusive worldwide television rights to the Copa Sudamericana. (See id.). In 2008, T&T also acquired the exclusive worldwide television rights to Recopa Sudamericana. (See [*14] id.).
The bribery scheme began in 2000, at which time one of the founders of Torneos unlawfully agreed to pay, and began to pay, annual bribes of $1 million to Conmebol officials Eugenio Figueredo, Nicolas Leoz, Eduardo Deluca, and Romer Osuna; such payments continued for more than 10 years. (See id. ¶ 62). As a result, throughout this period, Conmebol awarded the Club Tournament television rights exclusively to T&T. (See id.).
In 2005, Burzaco began to manage the day-to-day operations of Torneos, learned of the annual bribe payments, and helped continue the bribery scheme. (See id. ¶ 67). That same year, soon after Fox increased its interest in T&T from 25 percent to 75 percent, Martinez, Lopez, Fox Pan American, Ganley, and FSLA agreed with Torneos, T&T, and Burzaco that Fox and Torneos would fund and facilitate T&T's payments of bribes to Conmebol officials Leoz, Figueredo, Deluca, and Osuna. (See id. ¶ 64). As part of this agreement, Conmebol officials would sell the Club Tournament television rights to T&T, with the understanding the rights would be sublicensed to FSLA, and Conmebol would refuse to sell the rights to T&T's competitors or Fox, including Plaintiffs. (See id.). Moreover, [*15] the terms of the license agreements between Conmebol and T&T expressly contemplated the sublicensing of those rights to Fox. (See id. ¶ 77).
In 2009, other presidents of member associations of Conmebol began to demand annual bribes. (See id. ¶ 69). In response, Burzaco agreed to pay and did pay bribes to several others, including Napout. (See id.). "DOJ has revealed that the annual bribe payments of at least $400,000 that were made to Napout for the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 editions of the Copa Libertadores" were wired to bank accounts controlled by Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, who facilitated the payments to Napout. (Id. ¶ 76).
Co-conspirators also engaged in conduct designed to prevent the detection of their illegal activities. (See id. ¶ 73). To disguise bribe payments in connection with the Copa Libertadores and other tournaments, Fox Pan American and Torneos agreed T&T would enter into sham "consulting" contracts with companies owned by Jose Margulies and companies he controlled. (See id. ¶¶ 71, 82-92). T&T's payments of bribes to Conmebol officials were also made through Productora de Eventos, S.A., an affiliate of Torneos, which then paid FPT Sports S.A. in exchange for consulting [*16] services. (See id. ¶¶ 99-100). T&T did not receive any legitimate services from these financial intermediaries, but paid the companies as a way to facilitate the bribery of Conmebol. (See id. ¶¶ 71, 100). T&T, Torneos, Fox, and the financial intermediaries all knew the payments from T&T to the intermediaries, and from the intermediaries to Conmebol, were intended to serve as bribes to obtain Club Tournament television rights for the Fox Defendants. (See id. ¶¶ 77-78).
C. Conmebol Rejects Plaintiffs' Offers for Club Tournament Television Rights
The payment of tens of millions of dollars of bribes to Conmebol officials led to T&T securing the television rights for the Club Tournaments despite Plaintiffs' superior offers. (See id. ¶¶ 79, 108). Plaintiffs detail how Conmebol, its Executive Committee members (including Napout), and other Defendants agreed to prevent Plaintiffs from obtaining the Club Tournament television rights by misleading Plaintiffs about when proposals for the rights would be considered; licensing Club Tournament television rights in advance of expected offers from Plaintiffs; and refusing to revoke rights wrongfully awarded to T&T at below-market prices — all due to [*17] T&T's bribery. (See id. ¶ 139). Since there were no parties actively making offers to acquire the television rights apart from Plaintiffs and T&T (see id. ¶ 140), the only reason Conmebol did not accept Plaintiffs' offers was because T&T and its co-conspirators were paying illegal bribes to Conmebol officials (see id. ¶ 110). To the extent rights had already been awarded to T&T when Plaintiffs made more favorable offers, had it not been for the bribery scheme, Conmebol would have revoked T&T's rights and awarded them to Plaintiffs. (See id. ¶ 140).
1. Conmebol Rejects Plaintiffs' March 2010 Offer for Television Rights for Years 2011 to 2014 for the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana Tournaments
On March 3, 2010, one of GolTV and Global Sports's owners, Paco Casal, met with Nicolas Leoz, then President of Conmebol, to present a formal offer for the television rights for the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana for years 2011 to 2014, which Conmebol had previously awarded to T&T. (See id. ¶ 111). Plaintiffs offered Conmebol a total of $270 million for the rights, representing a nearly 70 percent increase over the $164 million believed to have been paid by T&T for the same years. [*18] (See id. ¶ 112). Conmebol disclosed to T&T and Fox Plaintiffs' offer to purchase the television rights, at which time T&T, with Fox Pan American and Torneos's knowledge, urged Conmebol to reject the offer. (See id. ¶ 113). Conmebol did not accept Plaintiffs' superior offer. (See id. ¶ 114). Conmebol could have revoked its agreement with T&T, and its Executive Committee was legally obligated to revoke it in favor of Plaintiffs' superior offer based on fiduciary duties owed to Conmebol. (See id. ¶ 115).
2. Conmebol Rejects Plaintiffs' October 2012 Offer for Television Rights for Years 2015 to 2020 for the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana Tournaments
In 2012, Plaintiffs offered to purchase from Conmebol the 2015 to 2020 television rights for Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana. (See id. ¶ 116). Again, the offer was far more than what was being received from T&T and Fox. (See id.). Conmebol President Leoz promised Plaintiffs that he and the Conmebol officials on the Executive Committee would formally consider the proposal at an October 24, 2012 Executive Committee meeting. (See id.). As a result, on October 21, 2012, Plaintiffs submitted a sealed proposal to purchase television [*19] rights to the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana for years 2015 to 2020, for a total price of $805 million. (See id. ¶ 117). Conmebol disclosed to T&T and Fox the offer made by Plaintiffs to purchase the television rights for the tournaments. (See id. ¶ 118). T&T and Conmebol again agreed Conmebol would reject Plaintiffs' offer and instead accepted a competing offer from T&T. (See id.).
Conmebol then invited Burzaco to attend its October 24, 2012 Executive Committee meeting on behalf of T&T and offer reasons why the Plaintiffs' offer should not be accepted. (See id. ¶ 119). Conmebol did not inform Plaintiffs that Burzaco would be present, nor did Conmebol invite a representative of Plaintiffs to present their offer. (See id.). Conmebol ultimately rejected Plaintiffs' offer and amended its agreement with T&T to increase the price for the 2015 to 2018 television rights for the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana tournaments. (See id. ¶ 120).
3. Conmebol Rejects Plaintiffs' November 2013 Offer for Television Rights for Years 2015 to 2024 for Club Tournaments
On November 18, 2013, Plaintiffs made a new offer to purchase the 2015 to 2024 television rights for all three Club Tournaments. [*20] (See id. ¶ 122). Plaintiffs offered Conmebol $2.1 billion for the television rights to the three tournaments, with the total price being four times higher than the $560 million paid by T&T and its affiliate. (See id. ¶ 123). Predictably, Conmebol disclosed to T&T and Fox Pan American that Plaintiffs had offered to buy tournament rights and again, Conmebol agreed to reject Plaintiffs' offer. (See id. ¶ 125).
4. Conmebol Rejects Plaintiffs' May and October 2015 Offers for Television Rights for Years 2016 to 2022 for Club Tournaments
By letter dated May 7, 2015, Plaintiffs renewed their November 2013 offer to pay $360 million per year for Club Tournament television rights for the years 2019 to 2022. (See id. ¶ 126). On May 27, 2015, the DOJ unsealed the indictment describing criminal wrongdoing associated with soccer tournaments, including charges against T&T principal, Burzaco. (See id. ¶ 127). On July 29, 2015, Conmebol released a statement advising it was reevaluating its commercial relationships with entities implicated in the wrongdoing. (See id. ¶ 128). Plaintiffs engaged in a series of meetings with Conmebol officials, including its then-president Napout, to propose acquiring the [*21] Club Tournament television rights on terms superior to those on which Conmebol had awarded the rights to T&T and a Torneos affiliate. (See id. ¶ 129). On October 16, 2015, Plaintiffs again formally renewed the offer for the Club Tournament television rights for years 2019 to 2022. (See id. ¶ 130). Plaintiffs additionally proposed acquiring the Club Tournament television rights for 2016 to 2017 for $170 million per year. (See id.). Conmebol did not accept either proposal. (See id. ¶ 131).
Instead, Fox negotiated an agreement with Napout, on behalf of Conmebol, under which Conmebol would award the Club Tournament television rights for years 2016 to 2018 that had previously been licensed to T&T, directly to FIC. (See id. ¶ 132). FIC paid between $135 million and $155 million per year, approximately $70 million to $90 million more than the $65 million to $69 million per year T&T previously agreed to pay. (See id.). This agreement was negotiated with FIC by Napout in secret and in violation of Conmebol's procedures. (See id. ¶ 132). Plaintiffs were not informed of the negotiations, nor were they invited to submit a competing bid. (See id. ¶ 134). Napout was subsequently indicted and arrested [*22] in connection with accepting bribes in exchange for awarding Club Tournament television rights to T&T. (See id. ¶ 135).
Plaintiffs allege they are victims of Defendants' bribery, as they repeatedly offered Conmebol substantially more for Club Tournament television rights than the amounts T&T paid or offered to Conmebol for those rights. (See id. ¶ 12). Plaintiffs seek compensation for the harm they suffered from the loss of the television rights they otherwise would have been able to obtain in a fair and competitive market. (See id. ¶ 13). Plaintiffs accordingly bring this action alleging injury under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") Act, the Sherman Act, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act ("FDUTPA"); and Florida tort law. (See id. ¶¶ 183-329).
Plaintiffs assert eleven claims. (See generally id.). Count One is a civil RICO claim pursuant to 18 U.S.C. section 1962(c) against all Defendants. (See Am. Compl. ¶¶ 183-269). Count Two is a civil RICO conspiracy claim brought under 18 U.S.C. section 1962(d) against all Defendants. (See Am. Compl. ¶¶ 270-76).
Count Three is a claim of conspiracy in restraint of trade in the Americas Television Rights Market, in violation of section 1 of the Sherman [*23] Act, 15 U.S.C section 1, against all Defendants. (See id. ¶¶ 277-82). Count Four is a claim of conspiracy in restraint of trade in the U.S. Television Programming Market, in violation of section 1 of the Sherman Act, against all Defendants. (See id. ¶¶ 283-87). Count Five is a claim of conspiracy in restraint of trade in the U.S. Television Advertising Airtime Market, in violation of section 1 of the Sherman Act, against all Defendants. (See id. ¶¶ 288-92).
Count Six is a claim of monopsonization3 of the Americas Television Rights Market, in violation of section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. section 2, against T&T. (See id. ¶¶ 293-98). Count Seven is a claim of attempted monopsonization of the Americas Television Rights Market, in violation of section 2 of the Sherman Act, against T&T. (See id. ¶¶ 299-303). Count Eight is a claim of conspiracy to monopsonize the Americas Television Rights Market, in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, against all Defendants. (See id. ¶¶ 304-11).
Count Nine is a claim of violation of the FDUTPA, Fla. Stat. §§ 501.201 et seq., against all Defendants. (See Am. Compl. ¶¶ 312-17). Count Ten is a claim of tortious interference with prospective economic advantage against the Fox Defendants, Torneos, and T&T. (See id. ¶¶ 318-24). Count Eleven is a claim of [*24] civil conspiracy to commit tortious interference against all Defendants. (See id. ¶¶ 325-29). The underlying factual allegations pertaining to each count are discussed in greater detail below.
II. LEGAL STANDARD
"To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A plaintiff need not plead "detailed factual allegations," but the complaint must offer "more than an unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Id. (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitle[ment] to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (first alteration added; internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)).
To meet the Iqbal/Twombly plausibility standard, a complaint must "plead factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556 (alteration added)). A claim will not survive "if it tenders naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement." [*25] Id. (internal quotation marks and alteration omitted) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
On a motion to dismiss, a court construes the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and accepts its factual allegations as true. See Brooks v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Fla., Inc., 116 F.3d 1364, 1369 (11th Cir. 1997) (citing SEC v. ESM Grp., Inc., 835 F.2d 270, 272 (11th Cir. 1988)). Unsupported allegations and conclusions of law, however, will not benefit from this favorable reading. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 ("While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations."); see also Sinaltrainal v. Coca-Cola, 578 F.3d 1252, 1261 (11th Cir. 2009) ("[U]nwarranted deductions of fact in a complaint are not admitted as true for the purpose of testing the sufficiency of [a] plaintiff's allegations." (alterations added; internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Aldana v. Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Inc., 416 F.3d 1242, 1248 (11th Cir. 2005))).
While a court is generally limited to the allegations of the complaint in evaluating a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, "where the plaintiff refers to certain documents in the complaint and those documents are central to the plaintiff's claim, then the [c]ourt may consider the documents part of the pleadings for purposes of Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal." Brooks, 116 F.3d at 1369 (alteration added; citation omitted). Where those "exhibits contradict the general and conclusory allegations of the pleading, the exhibits govern." Crenshaw v. Lister, 556 F.3d 1283, 1292 (11th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Griffin Indus., Inc. v. Irvin, 496 F.3d 1189, 1206 (11th Cir. 2007); [*26] other citation omitted). The court may also consider documents whose "authenticity and veracity are . . . unchallenged." Long v. Slaton, 508 F.3d 576, 578 n.3 (11th Cir. 2007) (alteration added) (considering investigative report plaintiffs submitted in opposing motion to dismiss).
Defendants4 assert the Amended Complaint is deficient because Plaintiffs: (1) fail to state a RICO claim; (2) fail to state a claim under the Sherman Act; (3) lack standing to bring RICO and antitrust claims; and (4) fail to state claims under the FDUTPA and Florida tort law. (See generally Mot.). Burzaco writes separately, challenging the RICO claims for failure to show his underlying conduct was a proximate cause of injury to Plaintiffs; and, on behalf of all Defendants, asserts Plaintiffs' claims are time barred. (See id. 81-845). Napout separately asserts all counts fall short of stating actionable causes of action against him. (See id. 84-89). The Court addresses these arguments in turn.
A. RICO Claims (Counts 1 and 2)
In Count One, Plaintiffs allege a civil RICO claim under 18 U.S.C. section 1962(c) (see Am. Compl. ¶¶ 183-269); and in Count Two, they allege a civil RICO conspiracy claim under section 1962(d) (see id. ¶¶ 270-76).
A civil RICO claim under section 1962(c) requires a plaintiff allege defendants (1) [*27] operated or managed (2) an enterprise (3) through a pattern (4) of racketeering activity that included at least two racketeering acts that caused injury to plaintiff's business or property. See Ray v. Spirit Airlines, Inc., 836 F.3d 1340, 1348 (11th Cir. 2016) (citation omitted); see also Sedima, S.P.R.L. v. Imrex Co., Inc., 473 U.S. 479, 496-97 (1985) (requiring conduct of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity in order to state a claim for civil RICO). To establish a RICO conspiracy, a plaintiff must show defendants either (1) agreed with the objective of the conspiracy, or (2) agreed to commit two racketeering predicates. See Rajput v. City Trading, LLC, 476 F. App'x 177, 180 (11th Cir. 2012).
Plaintiffs allege Defendants operated a scheme to bribe Conmebol officials in exchange for assurances T&T would receive Club Tournament television rights. (See Am. Compl. ¶ 188). Defendants' illicit actions, including wire fraud, commercial bribery, money laundering and monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity, over a period of 15 years, caused Conmebol to award T&T the television rights for the Club Tournaments, which otherwise would have gone to Plaintiffs because they were the only other bidders and they offered more favorable proposals. (See id. ¶¶ 108-37, 139, 268, 276). Plaintiffs suffered substantial injury to their business and property, [*28] including loss of revenues and profits, lower market share, and lessened profile in the sports telecasting marketplace, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars or more in damages. (See id. ¶¶ 268, 276).
Notwithstanding the requisite elements are alleged, Defendants argue Plaintiffs fail to state a civil RICO claim because they do not show: (1) Defendants' actions were the proximate cause of an injury to Plaintiffs; (2) the underlying bribery scheme presents a pattern of racketeering; and (3) Defendants committed two or more predicate acts. (See Mot. 20-32).
1. Proximate Cause
"When a court evaluates a RICO claim for proximate causation, the central question it must ask is whether the alleged violation led directly to the plaintiff's injuries." Anza v. Ideal Steel Supply Corp., 547 U.S. 451, 461 (2006). To satisfy RICO's heightened proximate cause standard and withstand a motion to dismiss, a complaint must allege a "direct relationship" between the alleged RICO violations and the plaintiff's alleged injury. E.g., Hemi Grp., LLC v. City of New York, 559 U.S. 1, 9 (2010). The "direct relationship" test is more than "a mere pleading rule." Id. at 13. Although the unlawful conduct need not be the sole cause of the injury asserted, there must be a direct and identifiable connection between the fraud and a [*29] plaintiff's injury. See Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indem. Co., 553 U.S. 639, 654-55 (2008). A plaintiff cannot "circumvent the proximate-cause requirement simply by claiming that the defendant's aim was to increase market share at a competitor's expense," because RICO only reaches harm that necessarily is caused by the predicate acts. Hemi Grp., 559 U.S. at 13 (citation and quotation marks omitted).
When evaluating whether proximate cause exists, "courts should consider the motivating principles behind the directness component of the proximate-cause standard in RICO cases." Corcel Corp., Inc. v. Ferguson Enters., Inc., 551 F. App'x 571, 576 (11th Cir. 2014) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). The motivating principles include: whether (1) difficulty would arise when a court attempts to ascertain damages caused by a remote action; (2) the nature of the proceedings would be speculative if the plaintiff were permitted to proceed; (3) the harm could have resulted from independent factors; (4) there is a risk of duplicative recoveries by other plaintiffs; and (5) other immediate victims of the RICO violation are better suited to vindicate the laws by pursuing their own claims. See id. (citing Anza, 547 U.S. at 458-60). The Supreme Court has cautioned "proximate cause is generally not amenable to bright-line rules." Bridge, 553 U.S. at 659 (citation omitted).
Defendants assert Plaintiffs do not [*30] satisfy the proximate causation requirement because they were not direct victims of the bribery scheme and, as such, their alleged injuries are too remote. (See Mot. 23-24; Reply 10-15). Defendants supply several arguments in support of their remoteness characterization.
First, Defendants urge the Court find the RICO claims foreclosed because Plaintiffs are not the direct victims of the alleged RICO predicates. (See Mot. 23; Reply 10-12). But Defendants rely on authorities involving significantly different factual scenarios than that of a plaintiff, who but for its competitor's fraudulent activity during a bidding process, would have won the bid, as is the case here. (See Mot. 22-23 (citing cases)). Plaintiffs' position is the more persuasive because Plaintiffs rely on cases in which, had it not been for the fraudulent acts of competitors in bidding processes, the plaintiffs would have won the bids.
For example, Plaintiffs rely on Bridge for the proposition a plaintiff may be directly harmed by the acts of a rival bidder when, but for the fraudulent actions of the rival bidder, the plaintiff would have received the winning bid. (See Opp'n 25-26). The facts in Bridge involved an annual [*31] public auction at which a county government sold off tax liens on delinquent taxpayers' properties. See Bridge, 553 U.S. at 642. The county established an allocation system to ensure fair apportionment of the liens, including a requirement that any entity submitting a bid do so in its own name and a prohibition on the purchase of liens through agents or employees. See id. at 643. The plaintiffs in Bridge, would-be purchasers, alleged the defendants defrauded the county by attesting they were not purchasing liens through agents or employees, while engaging several related bidders to submit bids on their behalf. See id. at 643-44.
The predicate act in Bridge was mail fraud. See id. 644. The plaintiffs claimed they were injured as a result of the defendants' criminal actions because, based on the allocation system, but for the illicit actions of the defendants, the plaintiffs would have received a greater share of liens and financial benefits. See id. After noting "RICO's text provides no basis for imposing a first-party reliance requirement," id. at 660, the Supreme Court found the defendants' fraudulent acts proximately caused plaintiffs' injuries by causing competitors to win a county contract over the plaintiffs, see id. at 660-61.
In Corcel Corp., the Eleventh [*32] Circuit similarly examined whether a pleading sufficiently demonstrated proximate causation where the plaintiff would have received a contract had it not been for the fraud of its competitors, the rival bidders. 551 F. App'x at 577-78. The complaint there alleged "if the County had not relied on the defendants' false and fraudulent documents and actions[,] the County would have awarded plaintiff Corcel the supply and construction contract at issue because plaintiff Corcel was the next lowest  bidder." Id. at 577 (alterations added). This allegation was sufficient to show a direct relation between the claimed injury and the defendants' federal civil RICO violations, satisfying proximate causation. See id.
At the December 15 hearing, Defendants attempted to distinguish Bridge, stating the basis upon which tax liens were apportioned by the county government was a unique situation in which, unlike here, there was certainty the plaintiffs would have won because they were next in line. Defendants also attempted to distinguish this case from Corcel Corp. for the same reason, stating the facts of Corcel are inapplicable because Conmebol may not have accepted Plaintiffs' bids regardless of whether Defendants conspired and [*33] bribed Conmebol officials. In their oral arguments and their written briefing, Plaintiffs liken the facts of this case to the facts in Bridge and Corcel Corp., emphasizing their allegation they were the only parties making offers to acquire the rights to the Club Tournaments other than T&T, and had Plaintiffs' competitors not been engaged in bribery and fraud, Plaintiffs would have prevailed and been awarded the television rights. (See Am. Compl. ¶ 140; Opp'n 23-24).
The Court is persuaded the facts in Bridge and the line of cases involving injuries of a bidder by a competitor are analogous to this case. Plaintiffs allege the relative certainty of their winning the bids for Club Tournament television rights in the absence of Defendants' wrongdoing, as the plaintiffs did in Bridge and Corcel Corp. As such, Plaintiffs sufficiently allege a plausible direct injury flowing from Defendants' bribery scheme.
Second, Defendants state the claims of injury are too remote and speculative because Plaintiffs' injuries depend on intervening and independent factors. (See Mot. 24-28; Reply 15-19). Defendants describe Plaintiffs' injuries as speculative because the bids were received after Conmebol had [*34] entered into contracts with T&T (see Mot. 25), and revoking the television rights from T&T and awarding them to Plaintiffs is necessarily an intervening step that breaks the chain of causation between the predicate acts alleged (wire fraud, commercial bribery, money laundering, etc.) and Plaintiffs' injuries (see id. 25-27). Defendants highlight Plaintiffs' failed last bid, made after the bribery scheme stopped, as evidence Plaintiffs would not have necessarily won the rights absent the fraudulent acts. (See id. 25-26).
Plaintiffs point to their allegation that had it not been for Defendants' illicit actions, no other factors supported awarding the licensing to T&T over Plaintiffs' higher bids. (See Opp'n 23 (citing Am. Compl. ¶ 110)). Plaintiffs explain not every proposal was under contract with T&T at the time of each offer. (See Opp'n 46). Indeed, the pleading does not identify whether the rights at issue in each proposal were under contract with T&T at the time of each offer. (See Am. Compl. ¶¶ 116-18). Furthermore, to the extent the television rights were already under contract, Conmebol would have revoked T&T's rights and awarded them to Plaintiffs in exchange for more favorable terms from Plaintiffs, [*35] but for Defendants' bribery of Conmebol officials. (See id. ¶ 140). Plaintiffs also refute Defendants' characterization of the circumstances of their last failed bid for Club Tournament television rights (see Opp'n 30), as the illegal activities continued throughout 2015, when the last bid was rejected (see Am. Compl. ¶¶ 3, 133). The Court is persuaded the claims of injury are not so remote and speculative as to defeat the causes of action, and agrees with Plaintiffs that many of the issues raised in this section of the briefing are factual disputes not appropriate for consideration on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. (See Opp'n 31).
Defendants next assert that upon receiving the television rights, Plaintiffs would have had to exploit the rights to make a profit - yet another causal gap between Defendants' conduct and Plaintiffs' injuries. (See Reply 18). According to Plaintiffs, the proximate cause standard articulated in Bridge is concerned with the conduct and the allegation of injury, not the later steps a plaintiff would need to take to make a profit from winning a bid. (See Opp'n 31). The Court agrees. Alleging a loss of profits is sufficient to establish proximate cause, see Bridge, 553 U.S. at 644 n.3; whether Plaintiffs would [*36] have exploited the rights or in fact been successful in making a profit is not considered at this stage.
Third, Defendants assert determining damages will be very difficult because of the "numerous intervening decisions by Conmebol, TV viewers, and advertisers" (Mot. 28), and because there may be future plaintiffs in Conmebol and its member organizations that may have an incentive to vindicate the law (see Reply 14). With regard to the issue of calculating damages, Defendants rely on Harris v. Orange S.A., 636 F. App'x 476 (11th Cir. 2015). There, the Eleventh Circuit found no proximate cause because it was difficult to determine what losses were attributable to the defendants' conduct, as opposed to market conditions and the like, as well as the fact another plaintiff was necessary to vindicate the same interest. (See Mot. 28 (citing Harris, 636 F. App'x at 483)).
Harris is distinguishable. In Harris, the plaintiff was a shareholder and employee of a company capable of vindicating the same interest as the plaintiff. See Harris, 636 F. App'x at 483. In order to calculate damages in Harris, the shareholder and employee's damages would have depended on the company's damages calculation. Here, there is no reason to believe Plaintiffs' damages calculation will depend on a potential damages calculation [*37] by Conmebol. Plaintiffs' damages calculation will likely come from their losses as a result of not receiving the bids, whereas Conmebol's loss in revenue will likely be calculated by looking at the difference between the revenue received and what Conmebol was offered by Plaintiffs for the Club Tournament rights.
Difficulty in ascertaining Plaintiffs' lost profits is not sufficient in and of itself to find a lack of proximate cause. See Maiz v. Virani, 253 F.3d 641, 663 (11th Cir. 2001) ("The touchstone of the inquiry . . . is proximate cause; there is no automatic rule against the recovery of any type of lost profits or lost value damages if proximate cause is shown." (alteration added)).
Last, Plaintiffs state Defendants implicitly concede there is no risk of duplicative recoveries, as they do not address the issue in the Motion. (See Opp'n 34-35). In any event, Plaintiffs argue there is minimal risk of duplicative recoveries from other disappointed bidders because Plaintiffs were next in line to receive the bids, similar to the plaintiff in Corcel Corp. vying for the county contract. (See id. 35 (citing Corcel Corp., 551 F. App'x at 578)).
In their Reply, Defendants insist there is a significant risk of duplicative recoveries, stating other media companies may claim that, [*38] absent the bribery scheme, they, too, could have obtained television rights for the Club Tournaments. (See Reply 13 n.3). Discovery may reveal if Defendants' supposition is correct. But as Plaintiffs allege they were the only other entities bidding on Club Tournament television rights, other than T&T (see Am. Compl. ¶ 140), Defendants' argument fails to persuade Counts One and Two fail to state claims for relief on the basis proximate cause is not sufficiently alleged.
2. "Pattern of Racketeering Activity"
To establish a "pattern of racketeering" under section 1962(c), a plaintiff must allege the defendants committed (1) at least two predicate acts over a ten year period that (2) amount to, or threaten, continued criminal activity. See H.J. Inc. v. Nw. Bell Tel. Co., 492 U.S. 229, 237 (1989) (A "pattern of racketeering activity . . . requires at least two acts of racketeering activity . . . within ten years" (alterations added; internal quotation marks and citation omitted)); see also id. at 239 ("[T]o prove a pattern of racketeering activity a plaintiff . . . must show that the racketeering predicates . . . amount to or pose a threat of continued criminal activity." (alterations added)). A plaintiff must also allege either open-ended or closed-ended continuity. [*39] See id. at 241; see also Profilet v. Cambridge Fin. Corp., 231 B.R. 373, 381 (S.D. Fla. 1999) ("[T]he continuity requirement can be satisfied either by showing past conduct that by its nature shows a threat of future racketeering or by showing repeated racketeering acts over a substantial period of time." (alteration added)). Defendants argue Plaintiffs do not properly allege either open-ened or closed-ended continuity. (See Mot. 30-32).
"A party alleging a RICO violation may demonstrate continuity over a closed period by proving a series of related predicates extending over a substantial period of time." H.J. Inc., 492 U.S. at 242. According to Defendants, Plaintiffs do not properly allege closed-ended continuity because the RICO allegations concern "only a single scheme with a discrete goal." (Mot. 30 (quoting Jackson v. Bell S. Telecomms., 372 F.3d 1250, 1267 (11th Cir. 2004); other citations omitted)). Defendants cite to several cases where courts found fraudulent activity that took place over several years was insufficient to establish continuity because in each case there was only one scheme. (See id. (collecting cases)). In Daedalus Capital LLC v. Vinecombe, for example, the Eleventh Circuit found a multi-year scheme to divert a company's proceeds and bleed the company of assets did not show closed-ended continuity because there was only one victim [*40] and a single scheme with "one discrete goal, directed at one individual." 625 F. App'x 975, 976 (11th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Defendants argue the scheme to bribe Conmebol officials in exchange for Club Tournament television rights is similarly one multi-year scheme with one discrete goal.
The Amended Complaint details a number of illegal bribe payments: first in order to obtain the rights for the Copa Libertadores in 2000, then in 2002 to obtain the rights to the Copa Sudamericana, and again in 2008 for the rights to the Recopa Sudamericana. (See Am. Compl. ¶¶ 3, 61-62). Defendants are alleged to have engaged in several rounds of fraudulent acts with a series of distinct goals over a substantial period of time. While there is no precise definition of "substantial period of time," H.J. Inc., 492 U.S. at 242-43, the allegations of wrongdoing during a 15-year period satisfy the requirement.
Plaintiffs adequately allege closed-ended continuity. Consequently, the Court does not address the arguments directed to open-ended continuity.
3. Predicate Acts
A RICO claim under 18 U.S.C. section 1962 requires a plaintiff allege defendants "received . . . income derived, directly or indirectly," from "racketeering activity," and the proceeds of the racketeering [*41] activity were then used to engage in activities impacting "interstate or foreign commerce." Id. § 1962(a) (alteration added). The term "racketeering activity" includes a list of predicate acts that violate federal or state law. Id. § 1961(1). "[A] private plaintiff who wants to recover under civil RICO must show some injury flowing from one or more predicate acts." Pelletier v. Zweifel, 921 F.2d 1465, 1497 (11th Cir. 1991) (alteration and emphasis added), abrogated on other grounds by Bridge, 553 U.S. 639.
Plaintiffs allege Defendants committed the following RICO predicates: (1) wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1343 (see Am. Compl. ¶¶ 193-204); (2) money laundering (promotion by international transfer), in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1956(a)(2)(A) (see id. ¶¶ 205-09); (3) money laundering (concealment by use of an international transfer), in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1956(a)(2)(B)(i) (see id. ¶¶ 210-17); (4) money laundering (promotional money laundering), in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1956(a)(1)(A)(i) (see id. ¶¶ 218-24); (5) money laundering (money laundering by concealment), in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) (see id. ¶¶ 225-32); (6) monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1957 (see id. ¶¶ 233-36); (7) bribery under New York state law, N.Y. Penal Law sections 180.03 and 180.08 (see id. ¶¶ 237-47); and (8) violation of the Travel Act, 18 U.S.C. sections 1952(a)(1) and 1952(a)(3) (see id. ¶¶ 248-53). To recover on [*42] a RICO claim, a plaintiff need only allege two predicate acts constituting a pattern.
Defendants argue Plaintiffs do not properly allege any predicate acts because the wrongdoing occurred extraterritorially and cannot be tied to Plaintiffs' injury. (See Mot. 32-43). In this regard, the Court examines two of the RICO predicates alleged: wire fraud and New York commercial bribery.
i. Wire Fraud
When a plaintiff's section 1962(c) RICO claims are premised on the predicate act of wire fraud, the substantive RICO allegations must comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b)'s heightened pleading standard, requiring the plaintiff state, with particularity, the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake. See Ambrosia Coal & Constr. Co. v. Pages Morales, 482 F.3d 1309, 1316 & n.10 (11th Cir. 2007) (holding civil RICO claims, which are "essentially a certain breed of fraud claims, must be pled with an increased level of specificity" under Rule 9(b)); see also Durham v. Business Mgmt. Assocs., 847 F.2d 1505, 1511-12 (11th Cir. 1988) (finding the Rule 9(b) pleading requirement applicable to RICO claims predicated on wire and/or mail fraud). The Eleventh Circuit has further held to meet this heightened standard, a plaintiff must allege: "(1) the precise statements, documents, or misrepresentations made; (2) the time, place, and person responsible for the statement; (3) the content and manner in which these statements misled [*43] the Plaintiffs; and (4) what the defendants gained by the alleged fraud." Brooks, 116 F.3d at 1380-81 (citation omitted).
As stated, Defendants maintain Plaintiffs' allegations of wire fraud fail because they rely on extraterritorial conduct outside the scope of the statute. (See Mot. 35). A two-step analysis is used to determine whether the civil RICO statute applies to instances of foreign racketeering. See RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. European Cmty., 136 S. Ct. 2090, 2101 (2016). First, the court asks whether the statute giving rise to the predicate act in question "gives a clear, affirmative indication that it applies extraterritorially." Id. If it does, the inquiry is over and the conduct violating the statute may constitute a predicate act for RICO purposes. See id. at 2099. If not, the court must "determine whether the case involves a domestic application of the statute," which is also sufficient for RICO purposes. Id. at 2101.
Defendants insist wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. section 1343 does not apply extraterritorially because there is no language evincing an intent to reach foreign conduct. (See Mot. 36 (citing European Cmty. v. RJR Nabisco, Inc., 764 F.3d 129, 141 (2d Cir. 2014), rev'd and remanded on other grounds by RJR Nabisco, Inc., 136 S. Ct. 2090)). Plaintiffs point to a circuit split and cite to contrary decisions of the First and Third Circuits, which have found the language of section 1343 supports the extraterritorial reach [*44] of the statute. See, e.g., United States v. Georgiou, 777 F.3d 125, 137-38 (3d Cir. 2015) (stating wire fraud statute applies extraterritorially, as section 1343 "punishes frauds executed in "interstate or foreign commerce, and is surely not a statute in which Congress had only domestic concerns in mind" (internal quotation marks and citations omitted)); see also United States v. Lyons, 740 F.3d 702, 718 (1st Cir. 2014) (same).
While the Eleventh Circuit has yet to weigh in on the issue, one district court in this Circuit recently found the First and Third Circuit decisions persuasive. See Drummond Co., Inc. v. Collingsworth, No. 2:15-CV-506-RDP, 2017 WL 3268907, at *17 (N.D. Ala. Aug. 1, 2017) ("While the Second Circuit has held that 18 U.S.C. [section] 1343 does not have extraterritorial application . . . other courts have held to the contrary[.]" (internal citations omitted; alterations added) (quoting Absolute Activist Value Master Fund Ltd. v. Devine, 233 F. Supp. 3d 1297, 1324 (M.D. Fla. 2017))). Given this precedent, the Court concludes 18 U.S.C. section 1343 applies to actions taken extraterritorially.
1 Plaintiffs refer to GolTV and Global Sports collectively as GolTV in the Amended Complaint (see Am. Compl. ¶ 111), and throughout their Opposition (see generally [*8] Opp'n). The Court refers to GolTV and Global Sports as Plaintiffs unless it is necessary to refer to them separately.
2 Unless otherwise necessary, the Court refers to the Fox parties collectively as "Fox" or the "Fox Defendants."
3 Monopsonization is an offense involving the control or monopoly of a market, which exists where an individual or organization is the only supplier of a particular good or commodity. See In re Beef Indus. Antitrust Litig., 600 F.2d 1148, 1154 n.3 (5th Cir. 1979).
4 All Defendants join the present Motion with the exception of Eugenio Figueredo, who has not appeared in the case. (See Mot. 12 n.1).
5 The Court uses the pagination generated by the Case Management/Electronic Case Files system, which appears as a header on all court filings.
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