United States District Court, D. Nevada
before the court is defendants Thayne Larson, Gene Tierney,
and Matthew Zito's (the “FBI agents”) motion
for entry of judgment pursuant to Rule 54(b). (ECF No. 130).
Plaintiff Scott Friedman filed a response (ECF No. 157), to
which the FBI agents replied (ECF No. 160).
before the court is defendant United States of America's
(“United States”) motion for judgment on the
pleadings. (ECF No. 133). Friedman filed a response (ECF No.
158), to which the United States replied (ECF No. 159).
before the court is Friedman's motion to dismiss. (ECF
No. 135). Defendant Tali Arik filed a response (ECF No. 146),
to which Friedman replied (ECF No. 155).
Friedman filed this action against the defendants on May 11,
2018. (ECF No. 1). The complaint is 95 pages long and
references an additional 435-plus pages of exhibits
identified and filed as exhibits A-X. (ECF Nos. 1, 2, 3,
17-24). The complaint names eleven defendants including the
United States, three FBI agents (agents Larson, Tierney, and
Zito), three Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
(“LVMPD”) officers (officers Joe LePore, Darren
Heiner, and Jason Hahn), LVMPD, two individuals (Tali Arik
and Julie Bolton), and Arik Ventures, LLC (“Arik
Ventures”). (ECF No. 1).
litigation involves a federal criminal prosecution against
Freidman for federal wire charges. Id. Friedman
alleges that defendants engaged in various unlawful
activities before and during Friedman's criminal case.
Id. The complaint contains the following factual
was an LVMPD police officer for fifteen years and retired in
August 2012. Id. During his employment with the
LVMPD, Friedman also had a real estate business where he
would buy and sell, renovate, and rent homes in the Las Vegas
area. Id. In 2004, Freidman became acquainted with
Arik, who is a cardiovascular surgeon in Las Vegas.
Id. Friedman and Arik subsequently formed a business
relationship focusing on the purchase of property in Las
mid-2009, Friedman became concerned about Arik's ability
to pay money that Friedman previously loaned to Arik in
furtherance of their joint venture. Id. Friedman
organized a meeting with Arik to discuss his concerns, in
which Arik told Friedman that he owed money to another
person, Michael Panik, and that his debt to Panik took
priority over his other debt obligations. Id. Arik
insisted that he would be amendable to repaying Friedman if
Friedman facilitated the payments to Panik. Id.
Friedman eventually agreed to transmit funds from Arik to
Panik. Id. Thereafter, Arik repaid Friedman.
Id. However, Friedman's efforts to resolve his
concerns regarding his loan caused Arik to become angry and
resentful towards Friedman. Id.
early 2010, Arik prepared a written statement (the
“2010 written statement”) containing false
allegations regarding a fraud scheme in which he was a
victim. Id. The fraud scheme that Arik described
centered on a real estate venture called the “Back
Canyon Estates” project in California. Id. The
2010 written statement implicated Friedman in the fraud
scheme. Id. Thereafter, Arik met with FBI agent
Tierney and provided the 2010 written statement to support
his efforts to solicit a criminal investigation of
Friedman's activities. Id. The U.S.
Attorney's office subsequently informed Arik that it had
declined to take any action. Id.
mid-2011, Arik initiated a state-court civil lawsuit to
recover financial losses that he incurred as a result of the
Back Canyon Estates venture. Id. The lawsuit named
multiple defendants including the LVMPD and Friedman.
Id. As a result of the lawsuit, the LVMPD
investigated Friedman and, eventually, forced him to take an
early retirement. Id.
in 2011 and early 2012, Arik and his long-time girlfriend,
Bolton, made various representations to the U.S.
attorney's office and the LVMPD to induce a criminal
prosecution against Friedman. Id. In June 2012, the
FBI opened an investigation into Arik's allegations of
fraud against Friedman. Id.
Agents Tierney, Zito, and Larson conducted the investigation
despite possessing the 2010 written statement by Arik, which
was exculpatory as to Friedman's guilt. Id. The
government eventually brought criminal charges against
Friedman and two co-defendants. Id. Shortly before
trial, the government informed Friedman's counsel that
the LVMPD had found a previously undisclosed “box of
materials” that contained the 2010 written statement.
Id. After reviewing the materials, the government
re-assessed the viability of the case against Friedman and
moved to dismiss all charges. Id.
11, 2018, Friedman initiated this lawsuit. Id. The
complaint asserts multiple causes of action, which Friedman
organized in the following manner: (1) Federal Tort Claims
Act (“FTCA”) claims against the United States for
malicious prosecution, abuse of process, false imprisonment,
intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence;
(2) violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments against the
FBI agents; (3) civil conspiracy against Arik and the FBI
agents; (4) malicious prosecution against LePore, Heiner, and
Hahn; (5) civil conspiracy against Arik, the FBI agents,
Lepore, Heiner, and Hahn; (6) malicious prosecution against
Arik and Bolton; (7) champerty and maintenance against Arik
and Bolton; (8) defamation against Arik; (9) slander against
Arik and Bolton; (10) false imprisonment against the FBI
agents, LePore, Heiner, and Hahn; (11) civil conspiracy
against Arik, Bolton, the FBI agents, LePore, Heiner, and
Han; (12) intentional infliction of emotional distress
against all defendants; (13) aiding and abetting against all
defendants; and (14) alter ego against Arik Ventures. (ECF
January 7, 2019, the court dismissed the following claims:
(1) all claims against the FBI agents; (2) malicious
prosecution, abuse of process, false imprisonment,
intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil
conspiracy, and negligence against the United States; (3)
civil conspiracy pursuant to Bivens, intentional
infliction of emotional distress, champerty and maintenance,
defamation, and aiding and abetting against Arik; (4) alter
ego against Arik Ventures; and (5) malicious prosecution,
champerty and maintenance, intentional infliction of
emotional distress, and defamation against Bolton. (ECF No.
January 17, 2019, Arik filed an answer and counterclaim
asserting a single cause of action for abuse of process
against Friedman. (ECF No. 124). In the answer and
counterclaim, Arik alleges that Friedman defrauded him out of
approximately $181, 200.00 by accepting payments from Arik
without using those funds to invest in the Back Canyon
Estates project or to pay off outstanding loans. Id.
Arik then informed law enforcement officials of
Friedman's actions, which resulted in Friedman losing his
employment and the United States initiating criminal
proceedings. Id. Arik further alleges that Friedman
initiated this lawsuit as an act of revenge against Arik for
reporting Friedman's activities to law enforcement
Friedman moves to dismiss Arik's counterclaim. (ECF No.
135). The FBI agents move for Rule 54(b) judgment as there
are no pending claims against them. (ECF No. 130). Lastly,
the United States moves for judgment on the pleadings as to
the final claim remaining against the United States. (ECF No.