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Case 13-01337-RGM

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UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA Alexandria Division In re: GAIL H. MOORE and THEODORE I. MOORE, Debtors. GAIL H. MOORE and THEODORE I. MOORE, Plaintiffs vs. THE LAW OFFICES OF JOE S. RITENOUR, P.C. SERVE: Daniel Travostino Administrator of the Estate of Joe S. Ritenour 20 W. Market Street Suite D Leesburg, Virginia 20176 DANIEL TRAVOSTINO, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF JOE S. RITENOUR 20 W. Market Street Suite D Leesburg, Virginia 20176 RITENOUR PAICE MOUGIN-BOAL & WEXTON SERVE: Rhonda Paice 20 W. Market Street Leesburg, Virginia 20176 PAICE & MOUGIN-BOAL, P.C. SERVE: Christine Mougin-Boal 20 W. Market Street Leesburg, Virginia 20176 JENNIFER T. WEXTON, P.C. SERVE: Jennifer T. Wexton 20 W. Market Street Leesburg, Virginia 20176 RHONDA W. PAICE 20 W. Market Street Leesburg, Virginia 20176 CHRISTINE MOUGIN-BOAL 20 W. Market Street Leesburg, Virginia 20176 JENNIFER T. WEXTON 20 W. Market Street Leesburg, Virginia 20176 Defendants Case No. 13-13656-RGM (Chapter 11)

Adv. Proc. No. _____________ Judge: Robert G. Mayer

Case 13-01337-RGM

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ADVERSARY COMPLAINT TO RECOVER FUNDS FOR DAMAGES AND FOR OTHER RELIEF COME NOW Gail H. and Theodore I. Moore, Debtors in a Chapter 11 proceeding pending in this Court as referenced above (collectively referred to hereafter as the Moores), by counsel, to file their Adversary Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 157(b)(2)(C) and in support thereof respectfully state as follows: JURISDICTION 1. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction to consider this matter pursuant to 28

U.S.C. 157(a) and 1334(b). 2. Venue of this Chapter 11 case and this Adversary Proceeding in this District and

before this Court is proper under 28 U.S.C. 1391(b), 1408, and 1409. 3. Counterclaims by the Estate against persons filing claims against the Estate are

core proceedings pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 157(b)(2)(C), and the Pleader does consent to entry of a final order by the Bankruptcy Court. 4. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 157(b)(3), this Court is authorized to determine whether or

not a proceeding is a core proceeding. COMPLAINT 5. The Plaintiffs, Gail H. Moore and Theodore I. Moore (collectively referred to

hereafter as the Moores) are husband and wife and are Debtors in a Chapter 11 proceeding pending in this Court as referenced above. 6. The Law Offices of Joe S. Ritenour, PC (hereafter referred to Ritenour, PC) is a

professional corporation formerly owned and operated by Joe S. Ritenour. 7. Joe S. Ritenour (hereafter referred to as Ritenour) passed away on June 7, 2013.

Daniel Travostino is the Administrator of Ritenours estate.

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Ritenour, Paice, Mougin-Boal & Wexton, formerly known as Ritenour, Paice &

Mougin-Boal (hereafter collectively referred to as RPMW) is a general partnership. 9. Ritenour, Rhonda W. Paice, Christine Mougin-Boal and Jennifer T. Wexton have

at all times relevant hereto held themselves out to be a general partnership consisting of these Defendants and trading under the name of Ritenour Paice Mougin-Boal & Wexton or its predecessor. 10. The professional corporations that are joined hereto are believed to contend that

the partners of RPMW are Ritenour, P.C., Paice & Mougin-Boal, P.C. and Jennifer T. Wexton, P.C. 11. Neither RPMW nor its predecessor nor any individual or corporate Defendant has

filed a certificate on behalf of RPMW or its predecessor as called for in Virginia Code Section 59.1-69. 12. There exists no written partnership agreement creating the general partnership

known as RPMW or its predecessor as referenced above. 13. The services as referenced herein provided by Ritenour, Ritenour, P.C. and

RPMW to the Moores were legal services. 14. All partners of RPMW are liable jointly and severally for all of the obligations of

the partnership. 15. RPMW is believed to have been formed as the successor to Ritenour Paice &

Mougin-Boal with the joinder of Wexton individually and/or Jennifer T. Wexton, P.C. 16. On or about January 30, 2012, an entity known as PIM, LLC sold certain real

property resulting in substantial proceeds of sale. 17. Moore. PIM, LLC was an LLC owned by Theodore I. Moore and his brother, Perry

Case 13-01337-RGM 18. Commission. 19. 20.

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PIM, LLC is now defunct and has been terminated by the State Corporation

One-half (1/2) of the above-referenced proceeds of sale belong to the Moores. On or about January 31, 2012, $875,334.85 was deposited into the trustee account

of Ritenour and/or Ritenour, P.C. under the name of the Moores and PIM, LLC. 21. Between January 31, 2012 and May 10, 2012 Ritenour and Ritenour, P.C. made

disbursements from that trust account. Some of those disbursements were to or on behalf of the Moores and were appropriate. There were other disbursements made from the trust account that were not appropriate and were not made on behalf of the Moores. 22. In particular, on February 6, 2012, $198,889.04 was disbursed from the trust

account of Ritenour, P.C. Neither Ritenour nor Ritenour, P.C. was due that sum to the operating account of Ritenour, P.C. 23. On May 10, 2012, $62,296.34 was disbursed from the trust account to the

operating account of Ritenour, P.C. Ritenour, P.C. was not due that sum. 24. Some of the $62,296.34 referenced in the immediately preceding paragraph was

appropriately disbursed from the Ritenour, P.C. operating account to or on behalf of the Moores. Some of those same funds were not appropriately disbursed. 25. The total of such funds inappropriately disbursed by Ritenour and/or Ritenour,

P.C. is currently calculated to be $137,945.48 (hereafter the claimed funds) subject to further discovery in this proceeding. COUNT I ACTION FOR TURNOVER OF PROPERTY OF THE ESTATE 26. 27. The Plaintiffs incorporate herein the paragraphs above. This is an action for turnover of property of the estate pursuant to Section 542 of

the Bankruptcy Code and a demand for an accounting in accordance therewith.

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The transfers at issue constitute property of the estate to be recovered and

administered by the Plaintiffs as debtors in possession. 29. As a result of the foregoing, pursuant to Section 542 of the Bankruptcy Code, the

Moores are entitled to the immediate payment and turnover from the Defendants of any and all funds held in trust by the Defendants in the amount of at least $137,945.48. 30. The Moores are also entitled to an accounting of the disposition of all of their

funds currently or formerly held in trust by the Defendants, directly or indirectly. 31. At all times material hereto, the Defendants were acting in a fiduciary capacity

and as such owed a fiduciary duty to discharge their duties in good faith, with the care that an ordinarily prudent attorney in a like position would exercise and in a manner reasonably believed to be in the Moores best financial interests. 32. The Defendants breached the fiduciary duty owed to the Moores by exhibiting a

willful, reckless and/or grossly negligent disregard for the best financial interests of the Moores by defalcation, the failure of a party to account for money or property that has been entrusted to them. WHEREFORE these premises considered, the Plaintiffs request judgment against all Defendants jointly and severally in the amount of $137,945.48 or such amount as proved at trial plus an award of punitive damages of $350,000.00 plus attorneys fees, pre-judgment and postjudgment interest and costs. COUNT II - CONVERSION 33. 34. The Plaintiffs incorporate herein the paragraphs above. The conduct of Ritenour and Ritenour, P.C. in wrongfully taking the claimed

funds constitutes Conversion. WHEREFORE these premises considered, the Plaintiffs request judgment against all Defendants jointly and severally in the amount of $137,945.48 or such amount as proved at trial 5

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plus an award of punitive damages of $350,000.00 plus attorneys fees, pre-judgment and postjudgment interest and costs. COUNT III - NEGLIGENCE 35. 36. The Plaintiffs incorporate herein the paragraphs above. Conduct of Ritenour and Ritenour, P.C. in wrongfully disbursing the claimed

funds to themselves or for their benefit constitutes negligence and such negligence was a proximate cause of damage to the Moores. WHEREFORE these premises considered, the Plaintiffs request judgment against all Defendants jointly and severally in the amount of $137,945.48 or such amount as proved at trial plus an award of pre- and post-judgment interest and cost. COUNT IV - CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT VIOLATION 37. 38. The Plaintiffs incorporate herein the paragraphs above. Providing legal services by Ritenour and Ritenour, P.C. and RPMW to the

Moores constituted a consumer transaction under Virginia Code Section 59.1-198 in that it was a sale of legal services to the Moores for primarily personal or family purposes. 39. Ritenour and Ritenour, P.C. used deceit in connection with this consumer

transaction in that they did not disclose that they were converting funds due to the Moores. 40. Rhonda Paice represented to the Moores that their money was held in trust when

she knew or should have known that was untrue. 41. Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 59.1-204, this action is asserted and the

Plaintiffs do hereby allege that the conduct of Ritenour and Ritenour, P.C. was intentional, thereby justifying an award of treble damages. WHEREFORE these premises considered, Plaintiffs request judgment against the Defendants jointly and severally for compensatory damages of $137,945.48 or such amount as

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may be proved at trial, treble damages, attorneys fees, costs and interest, both pre-judgment and post-judgment. RESERVATION OF RIGHTS 42. The Debtors reserve their right to amend this complaint, upon completion of their

investigation and discovery, to assert any additional claims for relief against the Defendants as may be warranted under the circumstances allowed by law. Dated: December 24, 2013 /s/ Brien A. Roche Brien A. Roche, Esq., VSB #16165 Johnson & Roche 8355A Greensboro Drive McLean, Virginia 22102 tel: (703) 821-3740 fax: (703) 790-9462 brienroche@aol.com Counsel for Gail H. Moore and Theodore I. Moore

/s/ Frank Bredimus Frank Bredimus Counsel for the Debtors The Law Offices of Frank Bredimus P.O. Box 535 Hamilton, VA 20159 VSB#28793 Tel: 571-344-2278 Fax: 540-751-1008 Email: fbredimus@aol.com

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that I have, this 24th day of December, 2013 caused a copy of this Complaint to be served electronically through the electronic case filing system to all persons entering their appearance and requesting notice in this case, and by electronic mail to the parties in interest listed below. /s/ Frank Bredimus Frank Bredimus Copies to: Joseph A. Guzinski, Joseph.A.Guzinski@usdoj.gov Ann E. Schmitt, aschmitt@culbert-schmitt.com William A. Gray, bgray@sandsanderson.com Danny M. Howell, dhowell@sandsanderson.com Daniel Travostino, djtlawfirm@aol.com