Halvorssen v. Simpson, Fritsch et al
Thor Halvorssen, President of the Human Rights Foundation, has filed a RICO case against Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, principals of Fusion GPS, for conspiring to retaliate against him for filing a complaint with federal law enforcement officials against their client Derwick Associates, a Venezuelan company, which has been contracted to build electricity plants for the Venezuelan government. Halvorssen focused attention on the kickbacks and bribes paid by Derwick and its owners in order to obtain these multi-billion dollar contracts in 2011 and 2012. He then reported these crimes to federal officials. Retaliating against someone who reports criminal activity to federal officials is a federal crime and a RICO “predicate offense,” 18 U.S.C. §§1513(e) and (f).
Halvorssen alleges that D’Agostino and the other Derwick principals then turned to Fusion GPS to retaliate against him by falsely accusing him of being a pedophile, heroin addict, and embezzling funds from the Foundation. Simpson personally oversaw the collection of this false information and conspired with a Washington journalist to publish the dossier prominently on the internet with the objective of getting the Human Rights Foundation to fire Halvorssen. The article was read by a hedge fund which was set to make Halvorssen a director, which ceased discussions with Halvorssen because of the article, costing him $5 million in damages.
Halvorssen is third whistle blower Simpson and Fritsch have retaliated against as principals of Fusion GPS. The prior two are businessman William Browder, who reported money laundering to federal officials resulting in a civil forfeiture action against Prevezon Holdings Ltd., and human rights blogger Aleksander Boyd, who also exposed the Derwick crimes.
On August 26, 2019, the District Court dismissed the case, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). Halvorssen has filed his notice of appeal regarding this dismissal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and that appeal is currently pending.
For more information, please contact attorney Howard W. Foster.