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Moldauer v. Constellation Brands Inc.

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

April 3, 2015

EDWIN MOLDAUER, Plaintiff,
v.
CONSTELLATION BRANDS INC, et al., Defendants

Page 149

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 150

Edwin Moldauer, Plaintiff, Pro se, Beer-Sheva.

For Constellation Brands Inc, Defendant: Robert S. Metzger, LEAD ATTORNEY, Washington, DC USA; Lucas Taylor Hanback, ROGERS JOSEPH O'DONNELL, Washington, DC USA; Paul M. Zieff, PRO HAC VICE, ROGERS JOSEPH O'DONNELL, San Francisco, CA USA.

For U.S. Department of Labor, Defendant: Eric Joseph Young, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC USA.

For Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Federal Trade Commssion - FTC, Defendant: Eric Joseph Young, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC USA.

Page 151

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

CHRISTOPHER R. COOPER, United States District Judge.

Edwin Moldauer filed four unsuccessful whistleblower complaints with the U.S. Department of Labor (" DOL" ) alleging that he was terminated for accusing his former employer, Constellation Brands, of accounting fraud. He now brings suit in this Court, claiming that Constellation owes him 13 years of back-pay because it never actually fired him. He also asks the Court to reinstate his whistleblower allegations, which DOL dismissed at the administrative level as untimely. And he seeks to amend his complaint to add further claims against Constellation and DOL and new claims against the Federal Trade Commission (" FTC" ). Because the Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over Moldauer's claims directed at DOL and lacks personal jurisdiction over Constellation, it will dismiss Moldauer's complaint. Because Moldauer's proposed amendments to his complaint would ultimately prove futile, the Court will also deny his motion to amend.

I. Background

Constellation Brands, Inc., a wine and spirits producer, hired Edwin Moldauer in 2000 as a senior cost analyst at the Mission Bell winery in Madeira, California. Compl. ¶ ¶ 5--7. Moldauer alleges that he was " posted away" from that position in late 2002 and has not received a paycheck from the company since. Id. ¶ ¶ 14--16. The timing of Moldauer's new " posting" happens to coincide with a California state criminal complaint and bench warrant issued against him for alleged theft of trade secrets. Constellation Ex. 21 (Complaint, People .v Moldauer, CR 1424 (Dec. 31, 2002)). Moldauer left the country--he is not a United States citizen, although it is unclear from the parties' various filings whether he is a citizen of Australian, New Zealand, or Israel--and currently resides in Israel. Compl. ¶ 1.

Moldauer has filed four whistleblower complaints with DOL against Constellation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107--204, 116 Stat. 745 (July 30, 2002). Compl. at 5. Notwithstanding that he now alleges that he is owed his yearly salary for the last 12 years, in each of these complaints he alleged that he was terminated in 2002 because he complained of accounting fraud. Moldauer v. Constellation Brands, ALJ No. 2014-SOX-035, slip op. at 2 (Oct. 20, 2014) (collecting cases). All of Moldauer's complaints were dismissed by DOL as untimely. Id. at 2--3; Moldauer v. Canandaigua Wine, Co., ARB No. 04-022, 2005 WL 4891658 (Dec. 30, 2005).

After his latest administrative complaint was dismissed, Moldauer filed this suit against Constellation and DOL, alleging that Constellation owes him back-pay and ...


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