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Nexus continues to snub federal court orders

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia

The Fishersville-based company Nexus could be forced to pay $5,000 a day in fines for not complying with court orders in one of multiple ongoing federal lawsuits. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel C. Hoppe presided over a virtual hearing on Tuesday in the lawsuit that a federal agency and three states, including Virginia, brought against Nexus nearly two years ago. Nexus Services and its subsidiary, Libre by Nexus, came under investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2017, according to The Washington Post.

The lawsuit asserts that the company and three of its owners or administrators – Micheal Donovan, Richard Moore, and Evan Ajin, engaged in deceptive and abusive practices in their dealings with immigrant clients.

In Tuesday's hearing, Jonathan Burke, an assistant attorney general for the state of Massachusetts, asked that the defendants each be fined $5,000 per day that they remain out of compliance with court orders to produce certain company and financial documents. Burke argued for such a high amount because, he said, in two other federal lawsuits, they have not been brought into compliance by lower fines.

The defendants' attorney, Adam Bowser, argued that they do not have the resources to pay those fines. Burke countered that, if they cannot pay the fines and they "are not interested in participating in litigation," the judge could consider ruling in the plaintiff's favor by default.

At the end of the hearing, Bowser asked the judge to rule on his motion to withdraw as Nexus' attorney, which he filed in June of last year, saying, "bluntly, we have not been paid for approximately 18 months."

Hoppe said he intended to grant that motion, and would also issue a written order in regards to sanctions. A clerk in his office told WMRA they couldn't say when that order would be available.

Randi B. Hagi first joined the WMRA team in 2019 as a freelance reporter. Her writing and photography have been featured in The Harrisonburg Citizen, where she previously served as the assistant editor; as well as The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and Eastern Mennonite University's Crossroads magazine.
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