FCL Fidelity Blog

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Chris McKibbin

About Chris McKibbin

As the only lawyer in Canada whose practice focuses primarily on fidelity insurance, Chris McKibbin has provided nearly 18 years of quality service and excellent results for virtually every fidelity insurer. He has been involved in most of the significant litigated fidelity coverage disputes in Canada since 2003, including complex coverage disputes involving fidelity policies, financial institution bonds and cyber policies arising from employee fraud, forgery of negotiable instruments, computer and funds transfer fraud and social engineering fraud. Chris also maintains a busy fraud recovery practice on behalf of both fidelity insurers and corporate clients.

RealPage: U.S. District Court finds Funds lost by Third Party Payments Processor do not meet Commercial Crime Policy’s Ownership Condition

In the recent decision of RealPage Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa,, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas held that funds lost by a third party payments processor as a result of a phishing scheme perpetrated on an insured did not meet the commercial crime policy’s ownership condition.  The Court found that the “hold” requirement of the condition requires possession of funds, as opposed to the ability to direct the movement of funds.  The Court also held that RealPage’s after-the-fact reimbursements to its clients did not constitute a “direct loss” under

Mississippi Silicon: Fifth Circuit finds No Coverage for Social Engineering Fraud Loss under Crime Policy’s Computer Fraud Coverage

On February 4, 2021, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision in Mississippi Silicon Holdings, LLC v. AXIS Insurance Company. In affirming the lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favour of AXIS, the Fifth Circuit made important findings regarding the proper scope of the Computer Fraud coverage; whether a fraudster’s opening of a “fraudulent channel” in an insured’s email system meets the requirements of that coverage; and whether it is appropriate to consider a policy’s Social Engineering Fraud (SEF) coverage in interpreting the scope of the Computer Fraud coverage. The Facts Mississippi Silicon Holdings, LLC (“MSH”) is

Sanderina: U.S. District Court Finds No Coverage for Social Engineering Fraud Loss under Crime Policy

In the recent decision of Sanderina, LLC v. Great American Insurance Company, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada rejected an insured’s claim that a social engineering fraud loss arising from a “phony executive” email scam was covered under a commercial crime policy. Following leading U.S. authorities such as the Ninth Circuit’s Taylor & Lieberman decision (see our April 3, 2017 post), the Court found that none of the Forgery, Computer Fraud or Funds Transfer Fraud insuring agreements responded in respect of the email scam. The Facts In 2017, an unknown third party sent a series of emails

C.S. McCrossan Inc.: Eighth Circuit applies Crime Policy’s Authorized Representative Exclusion in finding No Coverage for loss caused by Insured’s Property Manager’s Employee

On August 6, 2019 the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision in C.S. McCrossan Inc. v. Federal Insurance Company.  The decision addresses a host of coverage issues, including the application of the “Authorized Representative” exclusion and the definitions of “Subsidiary” and “Contractual Independent Contractor.”  The case is instructive for fidelity claims and underwriting professionals, as well as brokers and corporate risk managers.   The Facts C.S. McCrossan Inc. (“McCrossan”) maintained a subsidiary, Blakeley Properties, LLC (“Blakeley”).  One of McCrossan’s owners also owned a separate company, Stewart Properties, LLC (“Stewart”).   Blakeley and Stewart owned commercial rental properties.  Through intermediate

Starr: New York Supreme Court applies Termination condition in finding No Coverage under Fidelity Bond for Loss caused to Insurer by Managing General Agent

In the recent decision of Starr Insurance Holdings, Inc. v. United States Specialty Insurance Company, the Supreme Court of the State of New York held that the termination condition applied to terminate coverage in respect of losses allegedly caused to an insured insurance company (itself a holder of a fidelity bond issued by two other carriers) by the insured’s managing general agent (“MGA”)/broker.  Finding that the insured knew of the MGA’s dishonest acts prior to obtaining fidelity coverage, the Court applied the bond’s termination condition to hold that coverage terminated in respect of the MGA as of the inception of

Posco Daewoo: U.S. District Court applies Ownership Condition in rejecting Creditor’s “Reverse” Social Engineering Fraud Claim under its own Crime Policy

On November 19, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey released its decision in Posco Daewoo America Corp. v. Allnex USA, Inc. and Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America.  The decision represents a “sequel” to the Court’s 2017 decision arising out of the same claim (see our November 6, 2017 post).  The case features an interesting twist on the usual social engineering fraud claim scenario, in that it was the intended payee of the funds, not the payor, which asserted a claim under its own crime policy for recovery of funds which the payor had

CP Food: U.S. District Court finds No Coverage under Crime Policy for Insured’s Vicarious Liability for Theft of Customers’ Funds

In the recent decision of CP Food & Beverage, Inc. v. United States Fire Insurance Company, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada held that coverage was not available under a crime policy where the insured’s employees had defrauded the insured’s customers through misuse of customer credit cards.  The decision makes important findings regarding the appropriate test for “direct loss” causation in a crime policy, and reaffirms the general principle that crime policies are not intended to indemnify insureds for their vicarious liability arising from employees’ theft of third parties’ property. The Facts CP Food & Beverage Inc.

Aqua Star: Ninth Circuit applies Authorized Entry Exclusion to Social Engineering Fraud Claim

Jump To: The Facts | The Decision | The Conclusion On April 17, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision in Aqua Star (USA) Corp. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, affirming the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (see our July 19, 2016 post).  The decision offers guidance to fidelity insurers with respect to the application of the “authorized entry” exclusion found in the base wording of many commercial crime policies (sometimes referred to as the “authorized access” exclusion), and illustrates how this exclusion may operate in the

Hudson Heritage: U.S. District Court dismisses Fraudulent Loans claim where Credit Union failed to plausibly plead Alteration of Original Documents of Title

JUMP TO: THE FACTS | THE CUMIS COVERAGE | THE CONCLUSION On January 22, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York released its decision in Hudson Heritage Federal Credit Union v. CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc., dismissing the insured credit union’s claim pursuant to Federal Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. According to its amended complaint, the insured had granted several vehicle finance loans on the strength of photocopies or electronic copies of New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) title documents.  The copies received by the insured had been falsified to

Cooper Industries: Fifth Circuit applies Crime Policy’s Ownership Condition in finding No Coverage for Loss of Funds in Ponzi Scheme

Jump To: The Facts | The Ownership Condition | The Conclusion On November 20, 2017, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision in Cooper Industries, Limited v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA.  The Court applied a crime policy’s ownership condition in ruling that the insured did not have coverage for the loss of funds incurred when an investment entity to which it had provided funds in exchange for promissory notes collapsed due to the entity’s principals’ Ponzi scheme. The dispute arose out of the same Ponzi scheme that gave rise to the decision of the