In the Complaint which KMWB’s William D. Hummell filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Elof Hansson USA Inc., a New York corporation whose business includes supplying building materials in international trade, including steel products, accused defendant Edgar Santiago, a resident of New Jersey who is a former division manager and corporation officer, of pilfering money from his employer in a complex scheme with an agent in China including concealed communications in a foreign language using private devices and the acquisition of steel products in the Far East sold to customers in Caribbean countries, falsifying documents and illicit kickbacks and international money laundering which he hid from Elof Hansson.
Elof Hansson USA is a subsidiary of Elof Hansson Holding AB, a Swedish holding company with subsidiaries in 20 countries around the globe. Elof Hansson Holding is owned by Elof Hanssons Stiftelse (Elof Hansson Foundation). The Foundation supports academic education, research and training in the commercial sector.
William Hummell prosecuted the claims and conducted the bench trial in the federal courthouse in White Plains before U.S. District Judge Vincent Briccetti and successfully introduced documents and witness testimony during plaintiff’s case-in-chief. During Mr. Hummell’s vigorous cross-examination of the defendant, Edgar Santiago invoked the Fifth Amendment five times in refusing to answer probative questions.
KMWB requested the Court to make negative inferences based on his invocations of the Fifth Amendment. The Court held the overwhelming damning documentary evidence introduced by KMWB proved defendant’s liability even without the requested negative inferences. In its Decision the Court ruled that Edgar Santiago is liable on eight separate causes of action for violation of his Duty of Fidelity and Loyalty to his Employer, violation of his Fiduciary Obligations to his employer, liability as a faithless servant, three types of tortious Conversion, Replevin and Unjust Enrichment.
The federal court judgment for almost $1.4 million includes an award of damages and prejudgment interest.