Missouri Bar President-Elect Lynn Ann Vogel and her husband, Paul, have asked a federal judge to dismiss the claims made against them in an investors’ lawsuit over an alleged Ponzi scheme.
Investors sued lawyer and cleric Martin Sigillito last year, alleging he scammed them out of tens of millions of dollars they thought they were investing in British real estate. Federal prosecutors also charged Sigillito last month with mail and wire fraud and money laundering in the investment scheme.
The investors’ attorney, Sebastian Rucci, added the Vogels as defendants in the civil suit in late March, accusing the Vogels of professional negligence. It claims Paul Vogel’s due diligence report on the British real estate developer was misleading and allowed more investors to be duped. The suit argues dozens of loan agreements, which is how the investments were structured, that appear to have been prepared by Paul and Lynn Ann Vogel were improperly done, in violation of federal tax rules.
The Vogels have in turn sued Sigillito in state court, claiming he used their names on loan agreements without their knowledge and damaged their reputations.
In their motion to dismiss, filed last week, the Vogels argue the investor plaintiffs fail to state a claim because there was no attorney-client relationship, so legal malpractice couldn’t occur. They also argue, among other points, that the lawsuit doesn’t establish the required connection between the attorneys’ alleged negligence and the investors’ losses to proceed. Attorneys with Danna McKitrick and Jensen, Bartlett & Schelp are representing the Vogels in this case.
The case is Rosemann v. Sigillito, 4:10-cv-1165.