WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Andrew Grosso & Associates, a District of Columbia law firm, announced today the filing of a lawsuit against HSBC Bank USA, N.A. for retaliation and wrongful termination of John Cruz, a former Vice President and Senior Business Relationships Manager for HSBC Bank on Long Island, New York. The lawsuit accuses the Bank of attempting to silence and punish Mr. Cruz for reporting suspected fraudulent accounts, used for money laundering and maintained in violation of federal law; and terminating Mr. Cruz under false pretenses when its coercive measures failed to deter Mr. Cruz from providing his information to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and to Special Agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The Complaint alleges that in 2009 Mr. Cruz discovered numerous fraudulent accounts at the Bank, including accounts having large financial value but belonging to companies with non-existent addresses and, in at least one instance, an individual who did not know an account was maintained at the Bank in her name. It also alleges that Mr. Cruz attempted to report his findings to his supervisors at the Bank, and that they sought to silence and otherwise punish him for doing so. Mr. Cruz’s book on his experiences, “World Banking, World Fraud,” was published last year.
The Complaint alleges a breach of Mr. Cruz’s employment contract by the Bank; and wrongful and retaliatory conduct against Mr. Cruz for his attempts to fulfill his legal responsibility to report his findings to law enforcement. The Complaint asks for compensatory and punitive damages of $10,000,000.
The lawsuit was filed on December 11, 2012 in the United States District Court in the Eastern District of New York, Case No. CV-12-6088, and is before Judge Leonard D. Wexler. Mr. Cruz is being represented in this lawsuit by the law firm of Andrew Grosso & Associates, in Washington, D.C.; and Nicholas J. Damadeo, P.C. in Huntington, New York.