Real Estate

San Antonio Developer Settles Covid-19 Fraud Lawsuit for $375K

San Antonio developer settles Covid-19 fraud lawsuit for $375K, less than 0.5% of $90M claim.

By Doug Elli

6/11, 18:33 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • San Antonio's Lynd Company and Bio Supplies LLC settled a fraud lawsuit for $375,000 over fake Covid-19 disinfectants.
  • AHBP LLC initially sought over $90 million in damages, but the case was settled for less than 0.5% of the claim.
  • The lawsuit alleged Bio Supplies provided ineffective disinfectants and falsified lab reports during the pandemic.

Settlement Over Fake Covid-19 Disinfectants

A significant legal development has emerged from the San Antonio area, where the Lynd Company, a real estate firm, and its affiliate, Bio Supplies LLC, have settled a federal lawsuit for $375,000. The lawsuit, filed by New York-based AHBP LLC, accused the firms of selling ineffective Covid-19 disinfectants during the pandemic. Initially seeking over $90 million in damages, AHBP's claims included allegations of falsified laboratory reports and ineffective products. The settlement, which amounts to less than 0.5 percent of the original claim, underscores the complexities and economic considerations often involved in legal disputes.

The Legal Battle and Settlement Details

The lawsuit, filed in 2022, was set for a jury trial in December after multiple delays. Despite Lynd Company's CEO, Adam David Lynd, expressing confidence that the case would be dismissed, the firms opted for a settlement to avoid further legal expenses. The case revolved around Bio Supplies' alleged exclusive license to sell the disinfectant in Argentina, which AHBP claimed was ineffective against the coronavirus and failed to meet regulatory standards. U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez allowed AHBP to proceed with five out of six claims, leading to a confidential settlement initially reached on April 4. The $375,000 settlement was disclosed in a May 13 court filing, with the payment confirmed on May 28.

Broader Implications of Covid-19 Fraud Cases

The Lynd Company case is part of a broader trend of legal actions related to Covid-19 fraud. For instance, Bal Harbour-based developer Eric Sheppard was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison for defrauding Covid-19 business relief programs. Sheppard's case involved fraudulent documents to obtain $900,000 in financial assistance loans. Similarly, in Sonoma County, developers Kenneth Mattson and Timothy LeFever have exchanged lawsuits accusing each other of financial misconduct, including fraud and embezzlement. These cases highlight the widespread issues of fraud and misconduct that have emerged during the pandemic, affecting various sectors, including real estate and business relief programs.

Economic and Legal Considerations

The decision by Lynd Company to settle for a fraction of the original claim reflects a strategic economic choice. As CEO Adam David Lynd noted, the cost of fighting the lawsuit could have been double or triple the settlement amount. This pragmatic approach is not uncommon in legal disputes, where the financial burden of prolonged litigation can outweigh the potential benefits of a favorable verdict. The broader context of Covid-19-related fraud cases also underscores the need for stringent regulatory oversight and legal accountability to prevent and address such misconduct.

Management Quotes

  • Adam David Lynd, CEO of Lynd Company:

    "You can sue anybody you want for anything you want. It just comes down to an economic decision for whether you want the issue to go away, or do you want to fight it and spend double or triple the amount of money to wind up with a dismissal?"