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Lawson v. Rubin

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

April 29, 2018, Decided; April 29, 2018, Filed

17-cv-6404 (BMC)

Opinion

MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER

COGAN, District Judge.

Plaintiffs bring this suit alleging that defendants conspired to lure them to New York City so that defendant Howard Rubin could sexually assault [*2]  them. The five named defendants have moved to dismiss all of the claims against them.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs allege that defendants formed a RICO enterprise (and were part of a RICO conspiracy) through which they coerced plaintiffs and other women to travel to New York City to meet with Rubin under the guise of payments for modeling, fetish photography, and companionship. Plaintiffs claim that the RICO enterprise's real agenda was to transport women across state lines so that Rubin could intoxicate, drug, beat, and rape them.

Plaintiffs allege that, as part of this ongoing conspiracy, defendant Jennifer Powers and defendant Stephanie Shon recruit women and that Powers arranges for the transportation of these women to meet Rubin. Plaintiffs allege that defendant Yifat Schnur promoted the RICO enterprise by drafting the non-disclosure agreements that plaintiffs all signed and the waiver agreement plaintiff Caldwell signed, and by offering to represent plaintiff Hallman in Hallman's criminal case. Plaintiffs allege that defendant Blue Icarus, LLC enabled the RICO enterprise by leasing to Rubin the penthouse condominium where the violence took place from February 2011 to September 2017. John [*3]  Doe allegedly hacked into the accounts of plaintiffs and one of their family members at the direction of Powers and Rubin to delete evidence of plaintiffs' interactions with Rubin. Plaintiffs allege that Rubin uses the Doe Company to pay his employees for their activities related to the RICO enterprise.

Plaintiffs allege that all of defendants except Rubin benefitted from the enterprise because they were paid to assist Rubin in carrying it out. Plaintiffs contend that the RICO conspiracy began in 2011 at the latest, when Blue Icarus purchased the condominium and subsequently leased it to Rubin. Plaintiffs claim that through this conspiracy, defendants collectively committed dozens of RICO predicate acts, including coercion and enticement, witness tampering, human trafficking, dealing in controlled substances, obstruction of criminal investigations, and wire fraud.

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2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71582 *; 2018 WL 2012869

HILLARY LAWSON, KRISTINA HALLMAN, STEPHANIE CALDWELL, MOIRA HATHAWAY, MACEY SPEIGHT, ROSEMARIE PETERSON, and LAUREN FULLER,1 Plaintiffs, - against - HOWARD RUBIN, JENNIFER POWERS, YIFAT SCHNUR, STEPHANIE SHON, BLUE ICARUS, LLC, Doe Company, and John Doe, Defendants.

Subsequent History: Reconsideration denied by Lawson v. Rubin, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 228214 (E.D.N.Y., June 11, 2018)

Sanctions allowed by, Motion granted by, in part, Motion denied by, in part, Costs and fees proceeding at Lawson v. Rubin, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172639 (E.D.N.Y., Oct. 4, 2018)

Motion denied by, in part Lawson v. Rubin, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197201 (E.D.N.Y., Nov. 19, 2018)

Motion granted by, Decision reached on appeal by Lawson v. Rubin, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181192 (E.D.N.Y., Oct. 17, 2019)

CORE TERMS

alleges, motion to dismiss, plaintiffs', trafficking, penthouse, injuries, human-trafficking, enterprise, Blue, amended complaint, non-disclosure, interaction, travel, encounters, venue, contacted, breasts, intentional infliction of emotional distress, knowingly, damages, sex, dinner, transportation, argues, email, arranged, conspiracy, pleaded, beat, common-law