EMF (Updated news – 14 June 2011) According to reliable sources, the Ethiopian Sport Federation in North America (ESFNA) is under fire as Sheikh Al Amoudi’s MIDROC Ethiopia demanding the return of $240,000 gift money it offered earlier. Amoudi’s representative, Abnet Gebre-Meskel has reportedly been in Atlanta, GA to facilitate the claims through legal means. Yesterday was the deadline to return back the donated money, but instead ESFNA’s lawyer emailed the following message to WINTER CAPRIOLA ZENNER, LLC
Seven M. Winter, Esq.
WINTER CAPRIOLA ZENNER, LLC
One Securities Center
3490 Piedmont Road NE, Suite 800
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
Re: Your Client MIDROC Ethiopia, PLC’s claim against ESFNA
Dear Mr. Winter:
I was disenchanted to hear that your client chose to rebuff my client’s good faith offer to resolve this matter in an amicable fashion. Regrettably, your client’s decision appears to have been based on an erroneous understanding of what transpired at the June 8, 2011 ESFNA emergency board meeting. It appears, whoever informed your client about the attendees’ inclinations, failed to inform your client that the meeting did not come close to making quorum and did not end in a mandate to return the funds. It also appears that your client’s informant failed to state that an overwhelming majority of the board members opted not to participate, choosing to give this important and complex matter the attention it deserves at their next scheduled board meeting next month.
Given my client’s offer to resolve this matter in an amicable fashion, and in view of the applicable law and facts in this case, I am absolutely puzzled as to why your client insists on initiating a full blown litigation and make threats to disrupt my client’s sole function for the entire year. Given these threats however, my client cannot sit idle and let its organizational purpose and the well deserved vacation plans of thousands of Ethiopians disrupted by your client’s actions. In this regard, my client has authorized me, and I have caused to be filed a summary proceeding seeking a Declaratory Relief on the agreement in dispute.
The pleading asks the court for instructions regarding the request for return of the funds, so that a full blown litigation can be avoided. Please advise if your firm will be representing your client in this California proceeding. Please also advise if you will receive service of process on your client’s behalf.
Now that my client has submitted the issue to a Court that has personal jurisdiction over it, your client can rest assured that ESFNA will have to comply with whatever the Court orders it to do.
This also means that there is no longer any rational justification for disrupting my client’s event. In fact, to do so will show that the motives for the threatened action have never been about the return of the funds. That of course will have several implications.
Please note that my client’s intentions have been, and continue to be, resolution of this matter in an amicable manner.
Please also note however, my client is aware that an unmeritorious litigation can be initiated by anyone, at anytime, anywhere. In this regard, my client is prepared to defend its organizational purpose and the plans of thousands of Ethiopians, at all cost and in any forum. Should cooler heads prevail however, please do not hesitate to contact me so that we can work on resolving this issue once and for all.
Very truly yours,
Wosen Y. Mengiste, Esq
ESFNA is expected to give press release on the following days regarding this issue. EMF will follow up the case and keeps update our readers.