PITTSBURGH (CN) – Attorney Richard Bell with Cohen & Malad seeks to reverse a contempt finding in Federal Court, claiming the documents he disclosed to the Internal Revenue Service in response to a criminal subpoena did not violate a protective order. The order barred disclosure of confidential discovery material in a securities fraud action against Barron Partners LP, a claim Bell had filed on behalf of Indiana investors.
The allegations against Barron Partners in Hamilton County Court accuse the company of running a Ponzi scheme that involved World Health Alternatives securities.
While the case was pending, the IRS contacted the Indiana investors who sued Barron Partners, seeking information in its investigation of World Health Alternatives. The plaintiffs directed the IRS to Bell, their attorney.
Bell says he complied with the criminal subpoena, but was held in contempt for violating the protective order. He notified the assistant U.S. attorney, who allegedly “registered surprise” at the contempt finding and sent a letter stating that “the documents which you provided were all within the scope of that broadly worded subpoena.”
Bell asked the Hamilton County Court to reconsider, and the court stayed the order, giving Bell 60 days to file a motion for declaratory judgment.
He and Cohen & Malad filed the action in Federal Court, through attorney Joni Capelli of Feldstein Grinberg Stein & McKee.