11th Circuit Asked to Unravel Competing Glock Claims

ATLANTA (CN) – Counsel for the ex-wife of an Austrian gun manufacturer argued before the 11th Circuit Friday that a district judge was wrong to dismiss his client’s lawsuit that alleges her ex-husband committed fraud and money laundering to cut her out of his businesses.

Gaston and Helga Glock started a company together in 1963, and Gaston Glock later founded Glock Inc. in Smyrna, Georgia. The Glocks divorced in 2011 and Helga Glock saw her ownership of the parent company drop from 15 percent to 1 percent, which she claims was due to a series of fraudulent transactions.

Helga Glock filed a RICO lawsuit against her ex-husband in 2014. In the 350-page complaint, she alleges Gaston Glock set up sham companies in multiple countries to keep money from her. She sought $500 million.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash dismissed the lawsuit in March 2017, holding that the Austrian resident “has not suffered a domestic” injury.

Before a three-judge panel on Friday, Helga Glock’s attorney John Da Grosa Smith begged to differ with the ruling.

“I think the domestic injury is clear,” Smith said after U.S. Circuit Judge William Pryor opined the case pitted two native Austrians against each other.

“The entities themselves are an alter ego and a sham. It’s not an indirect injury if the alter ego is a sham,” Smith said.

Gaston Glock’s attorney, John Floyd, said Helga Glock “doesn’t have a domestic injury because it wasn’t her property that was here.”

“It’s just not there,” Floyd said. “At the end of the day, Ms. Glock wasn’t here, her property wasn’t here.”

In his rebuttal, Smith reasserted his claim that Gaston Glock’s entities are alter egos, therefore “he can’t commit wrongs against himself.”

The judges did not give a timetable for their decision.

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