Updated to include information on a countersuit and an earlier related complaint between the parties.
Seisa Medical’s case against an allegedly fraudulent California-based attorney claiming damages of approximately $1.8 million will stay alive after a federal judge in Texas declined to approve a motion looking to dismiss the case over jurisdiction issues.
In its case, filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division, Seisa alleges that defendant Catherine Shiang, and their company Asia Capital Advisor, fraudulently misrepresented themselves and their business and scammed the company out of nearly $2 million.
Seisa said it began its relationship with Shiang and ACA in 2016 as the company looked to expand its business in Asia, according to court documents.
The company claims that Shiang “utilized a scheme of fraud and misrepresentation regarding her background, skills, addresses, business associations as well as her name in order to induce plaintiff . . . to sign a series of agreements,” according to court documents.
Seisa continues its allegations, adding that Shiang created a “phantom staff with their own emails and professional backgrounds,” and that it misrepresented the size and capabilities of the company.
During a visit to El Paso, Texas, in which Shiang was meeting with Seisa president Jacobo Chiu, Seisa claims that Shiang “sent a series of emails in furtherance of the parties’ business relationships, including several fraudulent messages,” according to court documents.
Those messages include an email received by president Chiu from the account of Rida Lui, which Shiang claimed was ACA’s executive administrator. However, the email included Shiang’s signature and was verified by Chiu as having come from “the same El Paso internet protocol address as others sent by Shiang that same evening,” court documents read.
Seisa is asserting nine causes of action against Shiang and ACA in its complaint, including a breached non-disclosure agreement and approximately $1.8 million in damages as a result.
Shiang filed a countersuit against Seisa claiming that the company did not fairly compensate her or her company for services provided and that Seisa intentionally breached its contract with Shiang.
Shiang goes on to claim that Seisa misrepresented its footprint and manpower in Asia, and they “committed fraud on [Shiang] and potential distributors of [Seisa]’s 510(k) products by misrepresenting that they had a significant or even a relevant presence in Asia,” according to court documents.
In the counterclaim, Shiang and ACA claim to have “performed faithfully and competently” and said that they introduced several potentially interested parties to Seisa to distribute its products.
Shiang claims a number of other mishandled meetings between herself and Seisa, including multiple unpaid fees and expenses and hits to her professional reputation, according to court documents.
Seisa responded by denying the claims from Shiang and seeking to dismiss the counterclaims with prejudice, alongside payment for its own attorney’s fees and costs.
Shiang originally filed a complaint against Seisa in Broward County, Fla. in January 2017 seeking to collect a debt from the company, but that suit was removed to the District Court and eventually remanded back to Broward County.
While the suit was initially dismissed “without prejudice,” the case was later amended to “without leave to amend,” and is now under reconsideration, according to court documents.
In February, Seisa Medical said it closed a $42.5 million senior secured credit facility.