BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 31) – Forensic Strategic Solutions, Inc., a national financial investigation firm specializing in fraud examination and investigative financial consulting, determined losses of $44 million and a federal jury added an additional $20 million in punitive damages for a legal decision focused on the gaming industry in Alabama.
The jury verdict equals $64 million decided against the operator of a Macon County greyhound park named VictoryLand. That operator was accused of illegally standing in the way of another group interested in opening a bingo casino in the same county, east of Montgomery.
“Our methodologies to compute reasonable and reliable estimates of economic damages and lost profits were accepted by the jury,” said Forensic Strategic Solutions President Ralph Q. Summerford, who testified on behalf of the plaintiffs.
The civil case was brought by a business consortium called Lucky Palace established years ago to operate bingo in Macon County. The suit, which included 15 charities contracted with Lucky Palace, claimed VictoryLand’s owner conspired with the Macon County sheriff to withhold a license from the unopened bingo casino.
Forensic Strategic Solutions’ team used financial accounting models, estimates prepared by Lucky Palace lenders, and profit reports from VictoryLand to create conservative, fact-based assessments of the losses suffered by the plaintiffs, Summerford said.
Though an appeal is in the works, attorneys for Lucky Palace and the 15 charities said they were very pleased with the verdict. “It’s a victory for free competition,” plaintiff’s attorney Stephen D. Heninger told reporters.