11 Jul 2019
The family of the former owners of a Cuban bank seized by Fidel Castro’s government nearly six decades ago sued Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) for approximately $792 million, saying the French bank owes damages for circumventing U.S. sanctions against Cuba.
In a complaint filed on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in Miami, 14 grandchildren of Carlos and Pura Nuñez, who once owned Banco Nuñez, want to hold Societe Generale liable under U.S. law for doing business with Cuba’s central bank, which nationalized Banco Nuñez and other lenders in 1960.
A lawyer for the plaintiffs said he believed the case was the first against a bank that allegedly “trafficked” in property expropriated by the Castro regime, since the Trump administration said in April it would begin letting U.S. nationals sue companies for such conduct.
“Victims of the Cuban regime who had their property confiscated now have a vehicle to get justice,” Javier Lopez, the lawyer, said in an interview. “We have multiple financial institutions that we’re looking to target.”
Societe Generale did not immediately respond to requests for comment after market hours.
The lawsuit was filed eight months after Societe Generale agreed to pay $1.34 billion and enter a deferred prosecution agreement to settle U.S. and New York regulatory charges that it handled billions of dollars of transactions related to Cuba and other countries under U.S. sanctions.
By Jonathan Stempel, Reuters, 10 July 2019
Read more at Reuters
Count this content towards your CPD minutes, by signing up to our CPD WalletFREE CPD Wallet