Vaccine hearing set for April

The US$10 million vaccine case involving Barbadian businessman Mark Maloney will now get off the ground next April.

The trial was to start in the United States District Court Central District of California last month but defendant Alex Moore requested an adjournment so he could find another attorney, after the two lawyers who had been representing him since the beginning of the proceedings a year ago pulled out.

The court granted the attorneys permission to drop Moore after they reported that he owed them thousands of dollars in legal fees.

On October 16, US District Judge Stephen Wilson conducted a Zoom hearing and advised the parties involved that Moore had retained another lawyer.

“The court sets a firm date for jury trial on April 2, 2024, at 9 a.m.,” he stated.

The case involves the non-delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Barbados during the pandemic. The AstraZeneca vaccines were procured by Maloney’s company, Radical Investment Ltd (RIL), and paid for but never received.

RIL, which is based in St Lucia, is now suing Good Vibrations Entertainment (GVE), a Florida company, and Moore, its owner, over the failed delivery.

In its pre-trial pleadings, the RIL noted: “This action concerns the attempted purchase of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines by RIL. RIL was authorised by the Government of Barbados to procure COVID-19 vaccines. In order to purchase the vaccines, RIL was directed by defendant Alex Lee Moore Jr, aka ‘Flex’ [Moore] and his company Good Vibrations Entertainment . . . to deposit US$12.2 million with defendant Charles Stein and his law firm, Davidovich Stein Law Group, who were tasked with serving as the escrow agent for the transaction.

“The vaccines were to be purchased directly from AstraZeneca, a company which was manufacturing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines at that time. RIL provided Stein with very strict escrow and payment instructions which were memorialised in a purchase and sale agreement (PSA) and attendant escrow and paymaster agreement (escrow agreement). Despite RIL’s instructions, Stein misappropriated the majority of RIL’s funds to his co-defendants, wiring US$6.7 million out of his IOLTA account in a manner which was not authorised by RIL.”

The plaintiff added that “US$4.2 million of RIL’s funds were wired to Moore and GVE, despite the plain terms of the escrow agreement and PSA stating that GVE would only be paid a US$2 million commission if the vaccines were successfully delivered”.

The pleadings further state that defendant Moore “accepted, retained and ultimately spent or withdrew the entirety of the US$4.2 million of his ill-gotten gains”, adding that bank records would show that Moore “spent RIL’s funds on luxury vehicles, at nightclubs and gentlemen’s clubs, on plastic surgery, and that he either sent to family and friends or withdrew millions of dollars in cash”.

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