United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO ALTER FINAL
Bond Arterton, U.S.D.J.
Ahmed moves to alter or amend the Amended Final Judgment
([Doc. # 1054]) under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e).
(Mot. to Amend [Doc. # 1086].) The SEC opposes that motion.
(SEC Opp. [Doc. # 1109].) For the reasons that follow, Mr.
Ahmed's motion is denied.
Court assumes the parties' familiarity with the history
of this case. Pursuant to the Court's Ruling on Remedies
and Judgment, ([Doc. # 955]), the SEC filed a proposed final
judgment, ([Doc. # 960]), to which Defendant and Relief
Defendants objected, ([Docs. # 962, 963]), and the SEC
replied ([Doc. # 981]). The Court ruled on those objections,
([Doc. # 986]), and entered Judgment, ([Doc. # 982]), which
incorporated portions of the SEC's proposal and
modifications made in response to the Defendant's and
Relief Defendants' objections. Mr. Ahmed then moved for
relief from that Judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b), ([Doc. #
1012]), which was granted in part and denied in part, (Doc. #
1052]). The SEC and the Relief Defendants also moved
separately to alter or amend that Judgment ([Docs. # 1013,
1034]). After ruling on those motions, ([Doc. # 1053]), the
Court entered an Amended Final Judgment, ([Doc. # 1054]). Mr.
Ahmed now moves to further amend that judgment.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) permits motions to alter or amend a
judgment, "[i]t is well-settled that Rule 59 is not a
vehicle for relitigating old issues, presenting the case
under new theories, securing a rehearing on the merits, or
otherwise taking a second bite at the apple." Sequa
Corp. v. GBJ Corp., 156 F.3d 136, 144 (2d Cir. 1998)
(internal quotation omitted). The principal "grounds for
granting a Rule 59(e) motion to alter or amend are 'an
intervening change of controlling law, the availability of
new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent
manifest injustice.'" Densberger v. United
Technologies Corp., 125 F.Supp.2d 585, 597 (D. Conn.
2000) (quoting Virgin Atl. Airways, Ltd. V. Natl
Mediation Bd., 956 F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir. 1992)).
"A district court has broad discretion in determining
whether to grant a motion to alter or amend the
judgment." Baker v. Dorfman, 239 F.3d 415, 427
(2d Cir. 2000).
Ahmed argues that the Amended Final Judgment should be
amended further in eight ways, in order to:
(i) recalculate the judgment amount such that the
Defendant's non-forfeited assets already in the hands of
the purported victim are first credited against disgorgement;
(ii) allow the Defendant to choose which assets used to
satisfy different parts of the judgment as it is his right;
(iii) determine a method and process to calculate the award
of "interest or gains" so that it is not arbitrary
in either process or in calculation; (iv) include an offset
for losses on the assets used for satisfying disgorgement;
(v) correct the statement that should read "(6) that the
amount of interest and returns on disgorged frozen
assets;" (vi) correct that statement that it is
"interest OR gains" and not "interest AND
gains;" (vii) correct the insertion of Rule 54(b)'s
language as the Defendant intended to oppose such statement
and as per Connecticut local rules, had time to do so before
this esteemed Court ruled on that issue; and (viii) clarify
that the esteemed Court indeed intended to issue rulings and
its amended final judgment just hours before the Defendant
filed his post-hearing brief, in compliance with the deadline
set for such submissions by this esteemed Court itself, which
dealt with issues addressed in the rulings and amended final
(Mot. to Amend at 1-2.) The SEC responds that Defendant's
motion "does nothing more than recycle arguments the
Court previously considered and rejected" but
"points to no new evidence, no change in controlling
law, and nothing approaching error or injustice - much less
manifest error." (SEC Opp. at 3-4.)
Mr. Ahmed argues that the Amended Final Judgment should be
amended to reduce the disgorgement award by the amount of
"the Defendant's non-forfeited assets already in the
hands of the purported victim," Oak. (Mot. to Amend at
1.) He asserts that "[c]ourts routinely award credit
against disgorgement for assets that are in the possession of
the alleged victim," (id. at 3), but he cites
no authority in support of that assertion. Defendant
"requests that the value of those non-forfeited
assets be determined first and credited against
disgorgement" and that "other aspects of
disgorgement (such as pre-judgment interest, civil penalty,
interest and gains)" be recalculated thereafter.
(Id.) Mr. Ahmed has repeatedly raised arguments
regarding the status of and claimed need to value assets held
by Oak, and the Court has repeatedly rejected those
arguments. (See Ruling on Def.'s Rule 60(b) Mot.
[Doc. # 1052] at 3 (rejecting Mr. Ahmed's "efforts
to relitigate the status of the Oak assets," including
their "proper value and disposition," because that
issue had already been decided by the Court); Reply Supp.
Mot. to Amend [Doc. #1117] ("The Defendant has also
already briefed this issue. [Doc. # 959].").) Mr.
Ahmed's disagreement with the Court's prior rulings
on this topic does not support his request to alter the
Amended Final Judgment.
Mr. Ahmed argues that the Amended Final Judgment should be
further amended to "include explicit language that the
Defendant gets to choose which assets to apply to the
different parts of the judgment." (Mot. to Amend at 4.)
He argues that "there is no case law in this nation that
allows the SEC to 'cherry-pick' their assets in terms
of what assets to apply to which part of the judgment"
and that "it is the Defendant's right to decide
which assets to apply to that judgment." (Id.)
But Mr. Ahmed offers no argument or authority in support of
his position, and he misrepresents the procedure adopted by
this Court to satisfy the judgment in this case, which does
not permit the SEC to "cherry-pick" assets to apply
to different parts of the judgment.
Mr. Ahmed argues that the judgment should be amended to
"include some process for the determination of interest
or gains." (Id.) He contends that the Court
"did not take into consideration the Defendant's
views on interest or gains" and that the Court must not
"simply leave it up to an uninformed third-party who is
not vested and who just entered this case," referring
presumably to the Receiver. (Id.) But contrary to
Defendant's assertions, this issue has already been
thoroughly litigated and decided. After considering arguments
of the SEC, Defendant, and Relief Defendants, the Court
concluded that interest or gains are owed only on "the
frozen assets used to satisfy th[e] disgorgement
amount," not on all frozen assets or on assets used to
satisfy the penalty portion of the judgment, and that the
interest or gains should be calculated by determining the
"actual interest accrued or gains earned" and not
by using the "checking account interest rate"
proposed by Defendant and Relief Defendants. (Supplemental
Ruling on Remedies [Doc. # 1051] at 2, 5.)
Defendant argues that "the Amended Judgment should be
amended to include an offset for losses on assets used toward
the disgorgement amount." (Mot. to Amend at 5.) He notes
that he has "already briefed this issue" but offers
no argument to suggest that any law has since changed, new
evidence has come to light, or manifest injustice has
occurred beyond his disagreement with the Court's
decision not to order the offset he seeks.
Mr. Ahmed argues that the line in the Amended Final Judgment
which reads "IT IS HEREBY FURTHER ORDERED that the
amount of interest and returns on frozen assets which
Defendant must turn over ... will be determined by a receiver
or such other process that this Court will order,"
(Amended Final J. ¶ 6), must be amended to indicate that
the interest and returns are owed only on "frozen
disgorged assets." (Mot. to Amend at 5.) But
the Judgment itself makes clear elsewhere that the interest
and returns are owed "on disgorged frozen assets,"