Estate of Margaret Kainer v. UBS AG

Hiter-LootedartSUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK NEW YORK COUNTY

ESTATE OF MARGARET KAINER, and the
following individuals as heirs of MARGARET
KAINER: KURT BECK
a/k/a CURT BECK
as executor of the estate of Ann Beck, JANET
CORDEN
as executor of the estate of Gerald
Corden, MARTIN CORDEN as executor of
the estate of Gerald Corden, SIMON
CORDEN
as executor of the estate of Gerald
Corden, WARNER MAX CORDEN, FIRELEI
MAGALI CORTES GRUENBERG,
MATILDE LABBE GRUENBERG,
HERNAN LABBE GRUENBERG, PETER
LITTMAN, HERNAN RENATO CORTES
RAMOS
, and EQUITY TRUSTEES LIMITED
as executor of the estate of Elli Alter,
Plaintiffs,

-against-

UBS AG, a Swiss corporation, UBS GLOBAL
ASSET MANAGEMENT (AMERICAS) INC.,,

NORBERT STIFTUNG f7k/a
NORBERT LEVY STIFTUNG, a purported
Swiss foundation; EDGAR KIRCHER, and
JOHN DOES 1-X, including a possessor of a
painting entitled Danseuses by Edgar Degas, c.
1896,
Defendants.

Plaintiffs Estate of Margaret Kainer, and following persons as heirs of Margaret Kainer, Kurt Beck as executor of the estate of Ann Beck, Janet Corden as executor of the estate of Gerald Corden, Martin Corden as executor of the estate of Gerald Corden, Simon Corden as executor of the estate of Gerald Corden, Warner Max Corden, Firelei Magali Cortes Gruenberg, Matilde Labbe Gruenberg, Heman Labbe Gruenberg, Peter Littman, and Heman Renato Cortes Ramos, and Equity Trustees Limited as executor of Elli Alter (“Plaintiffs”), by their attorneys DUNNINGTON, BARTHOLOW & MILLER, LLP, and as for their complaint respectfully allege as follows, upon knowledge as to themselves and their conduct, and upon information and belief as to all other matters:

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

This is an action for breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, declaratory judgment. accounting, negligence, conversion, constructive trust, and replevin based upon Defendants’ decades-long spoliation of Plaintiffs’ assets in contravention of their common law and contractual duties arising from possession of Plaintiffs’ assets, including but not limited to the duties of care, candor, loyalty, and good faith. Despite the fact that UBS AG and UBS Global Asset Management (Americas) Inc. (together, “UBS”) and their predecessor Swiss Bank Union were longstanding trusted fiduciaries entrusted to manage the funds of Norbert Levy and his daughter Margaret Kainer, UBS and Defendants looted those assets for a dummy foundation they control. Among other flagrant misdeeds. Defendants, in 2009, without notice to or authority from Plaintiffs, wrongfully sold a painting in New York belonging to Plaintiffs and failed to obtain permission from Plaintiffs or turn over any of the proceeds of the sale with Plaintiffs. On November 22, 1927, Norbert Levy (father of Margaret Kainer) founded a family foundation domiciled in Switzerland named “Norbert Stiftung” hereinafter, “Norbert Levy i Norbert Levy’s Foundation I”). longstanding confidential relationship with Swiss Bank Union/UBS was so important to him that, in the charter of Norbert Levy Foundation I, he specifically required that at least one member of the two-member board of trustees be a director of the Swiss Bank Union.

*Stiftung” is a German word meaning “foundation”