TD Bank, Greenberg Traurig in Hearings over Document Tampering

Lawyers for TD Bank in the U.S., as well as its former Miami-based law firm Greenberg Traurig, are being called before a U.S. District Judge in order to explain how the words “HIGH RISK” were removed from a document presented to a jury during a January fraud trial, according to a report today by the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel.

The hearing pertains to a case that had been filed by investors who were defrauded in the $1.4-billion Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Scott Rothstein, a Florida lawyer at now-defunct Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler. Rothstein is serving a 50-year prison sentence, and TD was forced to pay $67 million to investors for its role in the scheme.

The document in question detailed the background of Rothstein’s law firm, but when the bank presented it as evidence to a Miami federal jury, the words “HIGH RISK” at the top were no longer present. Lawyers for the bank had maintained during the trial that the firm was not considered to be a risk.

Lawyers for TD say the header, which was coloured in red, simply vanished after it was photocopied too many times, but U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke has called the two-day hearing in order to weigh whether the omission constitutes a simple error, or whether it rises to a fraud.

Investors in the case want the judge to issue a ruling that would make it impossible for TD to appeal the $67-million verdict.

David Dias

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