Cueto accuses bank officers of obstructing justice

By Steve Korris | Mar 5, 2010


GREENBELT, Md. - Disbarred lawyer Amiel Cueto of Belleville, who served prison time on a conviction for obstructing justice, accuses employees of American Bank Holdings, Inc. of the same crime.

"The perjury/obstruction of justice crimes of ABHI are so pervasive and extensive, that to catalogue them here would fill a tome," Cueto wrote in a Feb. 16 brief challenging jurisdiction over him in a Maryland federal court lawsuit brought against the bank and Cueto by the bank's insurer.

He also alleged mail fraud "and maybe other crimes."

According to Cueto, bank representatives lied about when they knew that he had sued the bank in St. Clair County.

In that case, St. Clair County Associate Judge Andrew Gleeson awarded Cueto a default judgment initially worth about $98 million.

The bank moved to vacate the default judgment.

After Gleeson reduced the judgment to $7.4 million but refused to vacate the default, the bank appealed to the Fifth District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon, where the case remains pending.

The bank's insurer, St. Paul Mercury, sued the bank in Maryland federal court to relieve itself of any obligation to defend the bank in the Cueto litigation or to pay the judgment.

The bank and St. Paul Mercury aim to involve Cueto in the litigation, and Cueto aims to avoid involvement.

"Both St. Paul and ABHI have stated directly or by implication in their pleadings, that Amiel Cueto has sought to stand in the shoes of ABHI," Cueto wrote.

"That is false. Amiel Cueto would never want to step in the place of ABHI, because of ABHI's crimes in this Court," he wrote.

He wrote that according to James Plack of ABHI, neither the bank holding company nor its subsidiaries knew about the St. Clair County case until shortly after Feb. 12, 2009.

He wrote that an internal memorandum of July 25, 2008, shows they knew about it then.

He wrote that Plack also lied about ABHI's address.

"This Court might ask itself why Plack and ABHI would commit crimes punishable by ten years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, in order to lie about ABHI's address," he wrote.

"That is because ABHI wants to deceive this Court into believing that it was somehow Amiel Cueto's fault that ABHI did not respond to the Cueto lawsuit," he wrote.

He wrote that St. Paul Mercury remains silent about ABHI's crimes in the court.

"Maybe St. Paul wants to keep ABHI's business," he wrote.

He asked District Judge Rogert Titus to dismiss him.

If not, he wrote, he would put Plack and at least ten others under oath.

A federal jury convicted Cueto of obstructing justice and conspiracy to defraud the United States in 1997.

The Illinois Supreme Court suspended his law license in 1998 and disbarred him in 2004.

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