United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
JOHN M. LEATO; and LAURINA T. LEATO PLAINTIFF
MONEYGRAM INTERNATIONAL, INC. DEFENDANT
OPINION AND ORDER
HOLMES, III U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
and Laurina Leato have filed this lawsuit under the diversity
of citizenship statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. They proceed
pro se and have sought leave to proceed in forma
pauperis (“IFP”). The Plaintiffs have named
as a Defendant Moneygram International, Inc.
(“Moneygram”). Moneygram is incorporated in
Delaware and its principal place of business is in Texas. The
case is before the Court for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
to the allegations of the Complaint and attachments thereto,
Moneygram is liable to the Plaintiffs for thirty-four fraud
induced wire transfers dated from March 28, 2008, to October
12, 2008, totaling $47, 475; four fraud induced wire
transfers dated from January 28, 2010, to August 16, 2011,
totaling $16, 358.93; and twelve fraud induced money orders
dated March 3, 2008, in the amount of $520.35 each totaling
$6, 244.20. The total of the wire transfers and money orders
is $70, 078.13.
allege they have been financially destroyed and on October
31, 2017, had to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. They also
indicate they are victims of identity theft. Plaintiffs
allege they listed Moneygram on their “debtors list of
valid claims” for $70, 078.13 plus damages in the
amount of $30, 000, 000. Plaintiffs contend they have been
given the run-around by Moneygram with “all other class
action efforts.” Plaintiffs allege Moneygram has
violated the Deceptive Practices Acts of all fifty states,
the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices
Act (“Consumer Fraud Act”) and the Dodd-Frank
Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
H to the Complaint indicates that on November 8, 2018, the
Federal Trade Commission announced that it and the Department
of Justice had reached a settlement in the amount of $125
million with Moneygram to give money back to people who used
the transfer services to pay scammers. The announcement
further states that the Justice Department will return the
forfeited funds to the victims of the fraud through its
Victim Asset Recovery Program.
Court is obligated to screen an IFP case prior to service of
process being issued. A claim is frivolous when it
"lacks an arguable basis either in law or fact."
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A
claim fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted
if it does not allege "enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The Court
bears in mind, however, that when "evaluating whether a
pro se plaintiff has asserted sufficient facts to
state a claim, we hold ‘a pro se complaint,
however inartfully pleaded, . . . to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'"
Jackson v. Nixon, 747 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices
Consumer Fraud Act makes the use of deceptive trade practices
unlawful including causing the “likelihood of confusion
or misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval,
or certification of goods or services.” 815 Ill. Comp.
Stat. § 510/2. The Consumer Fraud Act provides a cause
of action to “any person who suffers actual damages as
a result of a violation of this Act.” 815 Ill. Comp.
Stat. § 505/10a(a).
causes of action under the Consumer Fraud Act are subject to
a three-year statute of limitations. 815 Ill. Comp. Stat.
505/10a(e). The cause of action accrues “when the
plaintiff knows or reasonably should know of his injury and
also knows or reasonably should know that it was wrongfully
caused.” Chicago Faucet Shoppe, Inc. v. Nestle
Waters North America, Inc., 24 F.Supp.3d 750, 757 (N.D.
Ill. 2014)(applying Illinois law)(citation and internal
quotation marks omitted).
date of the last fraudulent act identified by the Plaintiffs
is August 16, 2011. The case was filed on January 28, 2019,
more than three years after the last fraudulent act. With
respect to when the Plaintiffs knew or reasonably should have
known of the injury and that it was wrongfully caused, the
Plaintiffs' Exhibit 1, a transaction report, shows that
by no later than June 26, 2013, they were aware that the
money they had allegedly transferred via Moneygram was not
received by the designated parties. The statute of
limitations bars the Plaintiffs' claims under the
Consumer Fraud Act.
claim is subject to dismissal.
Arkansas Deceptive ...