FCL Fidelity Blog

Fidelity. Covered.

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.

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

Posco Daewoo: U.S. District Court rejects Creditor’s “Reverse” Social Engineering Fraud Claim under its own Crime Policy

Jump To: The Facts | The Travelers Coverage | The Conclusion On October 31, 2017, 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. This 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 been duped into paying to an impostor. This type of claim

Teva: Supreme Court of Canada rejects Fictitious or Non-Existing Payee Defence in finding Collecting Banks Liable for Employee Cheque Fraud

Jump To: The Facts | The Tort of Conversion and the Bills of Exchange Act | The Conclusion On October 27, 2017 the Supreme Court of Canada released its long-awaited decision in Teva Canada Ltd. v. TD Canada Trust. In a 5:4 decision, the Supreme Court held that two banks that accepted fraudulent cheques procured by a dishonest employee were strictly liable in conversion to the employer, and could not establish the “fictitious or non-existing payee” defence afforded by subsection 20(5) of the Bills of Exchange Act. The decision is a welcome development for Canadian fidelity insurers who seek to

American Tooling Center: U.S. District Court finds no Coverage for Social Engineering Fraud Loss under Crime Policy’s Computer Fraud Insuring Agreement

JUMP TO: THE FACTS | THE COMPUTER FRAUD COVERAGE | THE CONCLUSION On August 1, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan released its decision in American Tooling Center, Inc. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America. The Court held that a vendor impersonation fraud loss did not fall within the terms of a crime policy’s computer fraud coverage. In coming to this conclusion, the Court found there was no direct causal link between the receipt of fraudulent emails by an insured requesting payment to the fraudster’s bank account, and the insured’s authorized transfer of funds to that bank account.

The Brick: Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench finds no Coverage for Social Engineering Fraud Loss under Crime Policy’s Funds Transfer Fraud Insuring Agreement

JUMP TO: THE FACTS | THE FUNDS TRANSFER FRAUD COVERAGE | THE CONCLUSION On July 4, 2017, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench released its decision in The Brick Warehouse LP v. Chubb Insurance Company of Canada. The Court found that a vendor impersonation loss did not fall within the terms of a crime policy’s Funds Transfer Fraud coverage. The case represents the first social engineering fraud decision in Canada since the widespread introduction of discrete social engineering fraud coverage, and confirms the principles adopted in several recent American social engineering fraud decisions, including the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Taylor & Lieberman (see our April

3M: Eighth Circuit applies Crime Policy’s Ownership Condition in finding No Coverage for Loss of Undistributed Limited Partnership Earnings in Investment Fraud

JUMP TO: THE FACTS | THE OWNERSHIP CONDITION | THE CONCLUSION Guest Co-Author: John Tomaine On May 31, 2017, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision in 3M Company v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA. The Court affirmed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota (see our October 13, 2015 post), which had applied a crime policy’s ownership condition in ruling that the insured did not have coverage for the loss of investment earnings incurred when an investment entity in which it had a limited partnership interest collapsed due to the entity’s principals’ Ponzi scheme. The

Khazai Rug: Court of Appeals of Kentucky applies Crime Policy’s Inventory Exclusion to Alleged Employee Theft Loss

JUMP TO: THE FACTS | THE INVENTORY EXCLUSION | THE CONCLUSION The inventory exclusion precludes an insured from proving an employee theft loss solely by reliance on inventory calculations, independent of other proof of actual employee theft. A recent decision of the Court of Appeals of Kentucky, Khazai Rug Gallery, LLC v. State Auto Property & Casualty Insurance Company, provides a good example of the application of the inventory exclusion, and makes important findings with respect to whether it is appropriate to infer a connection between a demonstrated instance of employee theft and another similar instance for which there is insufficient independent evidence. The Facts

Commercial Ventures: U.S. District Court holds that Insured’s Co-Owner and President is not an “Employee” under Crime Policy

Several recent decisions, such as Telamon Corporation v. Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company (see our March 13, 2017 post), have highlighted the importance of assessing the precise legal status of an alleged defaulter’s work relationship vis-à-vis the insured as part of a proper coverage analysis. The decision of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Commercial Ventures, Inc. v. Scottsdale Insurance Company provides another example of the courts considering this challenging issue. In Commercial Ventures, the Court dealt with an alleged defaulter who was both a minority owner and the President of the insured, and specifically