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SMITH v. DEAN WITTER REYNOLDS

March 17, 1994

DEEDE SMITH
v.
DEAN WITTER REYNOLDS, Inc.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BY THE COURT; MARVIN KATZ

 KATZ, J.

 Following a bench trial, the court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:

 I. FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. Plaintiff Deede Smith ("Smith") is a citizen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 2. Defendant Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. ("Dean Witter") is a Delaware Corporation, with its principal place of business in the state of New York.

 3. Dean Witter operates a branch office in Washington, DC (the "Washington Office").

 4. Peter A. Horne ("Horne") was an account executive with Dean Witter's Washington Office during the events at issue in the instant action.

 5. Ronald Masci ("Masci") is the branch manager of the Washington Office.

 6. Jerry Sutch ("Sutch") is the operations manager of the Washington Office.

 7. Prior to the summer of 1989, Smith made the acquaintance of Baron Abdul Hakim Al-Warith ("Al-Warith") in connection with potential real estate and petroleum transactions.

 8. No pre-July 1989 real estate or petroleum transactions involving Smith and Al-Warith were completed.

 9. On or about June 30, 1989, Al-Warith opened an account with the Washington Office in the name of The Al-Warith Group.

 10. The Al-Warith Group account was opened with a zero balance.

 11. The Al-Warith Group account was held at the Washington Office.

 12. In late June of 1989, Smith was invited to participate in a multinational financial transaction (the "Transaction") with Al-Warith.

 13. The Transaction's objective was the acquisition and renovation of a hotel in the Bahamas.

 14. The Transaction involved obtaining a sizeable loan from a non-United States financial institution, investing a portion of the loan in financial instruments that would serve the multiple purposes of: (a) collateralizing the loan; (b) payment of the interest and the principal on the loan; (c) financing the acquisition and renovation of the Bahamian hotel; and, (d) paying the fees associated with the Transaction.

 15. Dean Witter conditionally agreed to provide financial services for the Transaction including: (a) advice regarding the type of financial instruments that could serve the multiple purposes required by the Transaction; and (b) assistance in purchasing such instruments.

 16. Dean Witter required that a "good faith" deposit of $ 50,000 be placed in a Dean Witter account before it would provide the financial services associated with the Transaction.

 17. Dean Witter provided Smith with the information necessary to wire transfer funds to Dean Witter for the benefit of The Al-Warith Group.

 18. On July 17, 1989, after discussions with Al-Warith and Horne, Smith agreed to provide the $ 50,000 "good faith" deposit on the condition that the funds be used only to reimburse Dean Witter for ...


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