Lawyer says ABS-CBN Remittance’s suit vs. Island Pacific ‘entirely baseless’


By Harvey I. Barkin

When FilAm Star inquired about ABS-CBN Global Remittance’s $2 million fraud suit against the family members and owners of the Island Pacific chain of supermarkets, Island Pacific’s lawyer said, “the suit against Mr. Lim and Island Pacific is entirely baseless.”

Mitchell Sillerberg & Knupp Partner Jean Pierre Nogues explained: “(ABC-CBN Global Remittance’s) complaint makes broad generalized allegation against unspecified defendants almost entirely on ‘information and belief.’ That is to say, even though the allegation in a complaint can be ‘verified’ and made under penalty of perjury, ABS-CBN elected not to swear to them under oath.”

“We note that there are no specific allegations of wrongdoing by Jeff Lim (Jefferson ‘Nino’ Miave Lim, son of Island Pacific patriarch William Lim) or Island Pacific and no facts or evidence supporting ABS-CBN’s claim against Island Pacific or Mr. Lim are alleged. Nor could there be such allegations or evidence because Jeff Lim and Island Pacific had nothing to do with the Cerritos store, which has always been owned and operated by persons and entities other than Mr. Lim and Island Pacific, or with the relationship between ABS-CBN and the Cerritos store.”

Although no hearing or trial has been set, the case is still pending at the LA Superior Court, Nogues said, “Jeff Lim and Island Pacific will fight the baseless claims and allegations against them in every possible way. We intend to file demurrers (i.e., a motion to dismiss) the Complaint on the ground that it is legally inadequate, which will be (made) public. We are confident that we will ultimately prevail and that the case will be dismissed. When it is, Island Pacific and Mr. Lim intend to pursue all available rights and remedies against the parties responsible for the baseless suit.”

ABS-CBN Remittance’s Complaint was filed at the Central District of LA County last February 22 this year. The Complaint was for fraudulent conveyance, fraud, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and conversion with a demand for jury trial.

Named defendants were: Island Pacific Supermarkets, Kababayan Development, Inc., Island Pacific Enterprises, Inc., Jefferson “Nino” Miave Lim, Katherine Lim Go (William Lim’s daughter), Ryan Go (Katherine Lim Go’s brother-in-law), Fei Lu (Ryan Go’s wife), Denise Marianne Miave Henson, Manila Bay Foods, Inc., Vermont Seafood Market, Inc., Mega Foods, Inc., Azusa Supermarket, Inc., Canoga Supermarket, Inc., Island Pacific Distribution, Inc., Island Pacific National City, Inc., Island Pacific Oxnard, Inc., San Jose International Market, Inc., Island Pacific Pittsburg, Inc. and others.

The specific incident which sparked the case occurred when the Island Pacific Market in Cerrito, CA, run by a Lim family member, allegedly short changed ABS-CBN out of more than $2 million by failing to reimburse ABS-CBN for money sent to the Philippines after, according to the Complaint, “ABS-CBN was provided with falsified documents purportedly to show that there were sufficient funds.”

ABS-CBN’s lawyers, Steptoe & Johnson, built their case by including as exhibit data from the FBI recounting previous convictions against William Lim and Katherine Lim Go.

According to Steptoe & Johnson’s Seong Kim, “ABS-CBN has asked the court for compensating damages in an amount no less than $1,708,832.05, punitive damages and other remedies. The amount of punitive damages is determined by the judge or the jury.”