& Allen, P.C., New York (Roger K. Marion of counsel), for
Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP, New York (Olivera
Medenica of counsel), for respondent.
Friedman, J.P., Webber, Kern, Moulton, JJ.
Supreme Court, New York County (Charles E. Ramos, J.),
entered on October 1, 2018, awarding claimant Stone Column
Trading House Limited $8, 937, 120.23 plus interest, costs
and disbursements, unanimously modified, on the law, to
delete the award of statutory interest ($5, 410, 018.40), and
to vacate the judgment entered in favor of Stone Column and
against Beogradska in the amount of $14, 347, 973.63, and
otherwise affirmed, without costs.
1992, $20 million was deposited into an account in the name
of Stone Column at Beogradska's New York agency
(Beogradska NY). After bankruptcy proceedings were initiated
against Beogradska in Belgrade, the Superintendent of
Financial Services of the State of New York took possession
of Beogradska NY's business and property pursuant to
Banking Law § 606(4)(a). Stone Column and Beogradska
filed competing proofs of claim to the $20 million; after the
Superintendent rejected both claims, Stone Column and
Beogradska commenced separate actions against the
Superintendent pursuant to Banking Law § 625(3).
2014, the Superintendent, Beogradska, and Stone Column
entered into a Stipulation of Consolidation and Discharge
which, inter alia, acknowledges that Stone Column submitted
timely proofs of claim and says that "the sole legal
issue to be adjudicated... is whether Beogradska... or Stone
Column has the superior right to receive all or a portion of
the Claim Amount," i.e., the $20 million. The
stipulation continues, "Except for the claims of
Beogradska... and Stone Column to the Claim Amount,
Beogradska... and Stone Column... agree not to assert or
otherwise pursue any other direct or indirect claims against
one another arising out of the subject matter of the
Consolidated Action." By entering into this stipulation,
Beogradska waived the issue of Stone Column's standing
(see Access 4 All, Inc. v Grandview Hotel Ltd.
Partnership, 2006 WL 566101, *2-3, 2006 U.S. Dist LEXIS
15603, *5-8 [ED NY, March 2006, CV04-4368(TCP)(MLO)]).
Column made a prima facie showing that the money in its
account is its money (see Karaha Bodas Co., L.L.C. v
Perusahaan Pertambangan Minyak Dan Gas Bumi Negara, 313
F.3d 70, 86 [2d Cir 2002], cert denied 539 U.S. 904');">539 U.S. 904
). The record includes a Beogradska NY statement
showing $20 million in Stone Column's account as of April
30, 1992. In addition, Beogradska stipulated that Stone
Column maintained an account at Beogradska NY. Thus, the
burden shifted to Beogradska to establish that the money in
the Stone Column account was not Stone Column's money.
verified amended complaint, Beogradska alleged that Stone
Column relinquished its ownership rights to a total of $19,
480, 187.33 by sending orders of transfer signed by Branislav
Jeroti the General Director of a company called Limes d.o.o.
that was not related to Stone Column and eljko Popovi the
Executive Director of Foreign Exchange Affairs at Beobanka.
Beogradska further alleged that Jeroti and Popovi could act
on Stone Column's behalf due to powers of attorney
executed on or about March 31, 1992. However, Stone Column
demonstrated that these powers of attorney were invalid.
Hence, it did not relinquish its rights. Furthermore,
Beogradska's claim is based on transactions that violate
U.S. law (see Bank of N.Y. v Norilsk Nickel, 14
A.D.3d 140, 141-142, 147 [1st Dept 2004], lv
dismissed 4 N.Y.3d 846');">4 N.Y.3d 846 , appeal dismissed
4 N.Y.3d 843');">4 N.Y.3d 843 ).
the parties' stipulation (quoted above), Stone Column is
not entitled to 9% statutory interest (see J.
D'Addario & Co., Inc. v Embassy Indus., Inc., 20
N.Y.3d 113, 117-118 ). Stone Column is also not
entitled to a judgment against Beogradska in this
interpleader action as the parties stipulated that they
agreed not to pursue any claims against one another ...