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Odyssey Reinsurance Obtains Summary Judgment in Fraudulent Transfer Case Against Owners of Agency Involved in Reinsurance Arrangement

We have been tracking an ongoing reinsurance matter in which Odyssey Reinsurance Co. obtained a $3.2 million default judgment against Cal-Regent Insurance Services Corp. and Pacific Brokers Insurance Services (PBIS) as a result of fraudulent transfers made between the two companies and the owner/officers of both companies, Richard and Diane Nagby. As we previously reported, Odyssey obtained a judgment against Cal-Regent in 2015 for $3.2 million to recover the amount of return commissions it was owed. The Nagbys, however, had previously formed PBIS and caused Cal-Regent to transfer substantially all of its assets to PBIS. Three months before judgment was entered in Odyssey’s initial action against Cal-Regent, the Nagbys caused PBIS to sell substantially all of its assets to AmTrust for $5 million, which the Nagbys agreed to divide among themselves.

Odyssey filed the present action on March 21, 2017, alleging liability under California’s Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA) and alter ego and successor liability law. The court previously granted default judgments as well as preliminary injunctions against the Nagbys enjoining them from disposing the AmTrust proceeds. On October 27, 2017, the court entered a judgment as to Cal-Regent and PBIS, including a monetary award against PBIS of $3,219,482.68, the amount owing on the District of Connecticut judgment against Cal-Regent. On March 5, 2018, the court certified the judgment as final, and no appeal was taken.

The court has now granted Odyssey’s motion for summary judgment seeking to recover from the Nagbys the money transferred to them from the sale of PBIS to AmTrust. Odyssey’s theory of liability under the UFTA was based on constructive fraud, which does not require a showing of fraudulent intent by the Nagbys. The court found that the Nagbys were liable because: (1) Cal-Regent transferred its assets to PBIS (Cal-Regent transferred at least 75% of its relationships with insurance brokerage firms) and was rendered insolvent; (2) PBIS then sold all of its assets to AmTrust; (3) the initial proceeds of the sale and a subsequent payment by AmTrust were distributed to the Nagbys; and (4) these distributions rendered Cal-Regent and PBIS insolvent in that they were left unable to pay off their debt owed to Odyssey.

The court further found that Odyssey demonstrated that it was a creditor of PBIS under California’s standard for successor liability, finding that Odyssey showed that there was no adequate consideration given by PBIS for Cal-Regent’s assets, that Cal-Regent’s debts were left unpaid, and that Mr. Nagby owned both Cal-Regent and PBIS. Finally, the court also found that Odyssey could recover the full amount owing on the District of Connecticut judgment from Mr. Nagby under Nevada corporate law because Mr. Nagby’s authorization for the unlawful distributions left PBIS unable “to pay its debts as they became due in the usual course of business” and left PBIS with assets “less than the sum of its total liabilities.”

Odyssey Reinsurance Co. v. Nagby, No. 3:16-cv-03038 (S.D. Cal. July 2, 2019).

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About this Author

Michael Wolgin, Insurance lawyer, Carlton Fields

Michael Wolgin defends insurance companies and financial services institutions in complex litigation matters in federal and state courts throughout the United States. His practice includes class action defense, consumer fraud, and commercial litigation. In addition, he represents and counsels insurance companies in regulatory matters, including multi-state market conduct examinations.

Michael’s extensive class action and complex litigation experience includes handling matters across multiple lines of insurance (for example, life insurance, reinsurance, supplemental health insurance...