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Judge rules against Nexus in federal lawsuit

 The U.S. District Courthouse in Harrisonburg where the case is being held.
Randi B. Hagi.
The U.S. District Courthouse in Harrisonburg where the case is being held.

A federal judge has ruled against the Verona-based company Nexus in a major lawsuit. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon entered a default judgment in favor of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the states of Virginia, Massachusetts, and New York. The government entities had sued Nexus and three of its leaders – Micheal Donovan, Richard Moore, and Evan Ajin – for allegedly breaking consumer protection laws by misleading and threatening clients in their immigration bond business.

The lawsuit was filed two years ago. The case was scheduled to go to trial earlier this year, but was delayed indefinitely because Nexus has repeatedly failed to turn over certain financial and business records. Nexus is now on their third set of lawyers.

Dillon wrote in her opinion that one of Nexus' former attorneys acknowledged that he could not get the company to comply with the court. The default judgment essentially rules in favor of the plaintiffs because of Nexus's noncompliance. Dillon noted that financial sanctions have not forced Nexus to comply in two other federal lawsuits that remain unresolved.

In a hearing on April 17, James Scott, representing the Commonwealth of Virginia, argued [quote] "this kind of stalling and obstruction tactic has to be deterred."

Dillon agreed in her opinion, saying Nexus' behavior [quote] "indicates a lack of candor with the court and a delusion as to the exigency of the situation." [end quote]

A hearing will be held to determine the amount of remedies and damages the defendants are ordered to pay. That date has not yet been announced.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the company as being based in Fishersville.

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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