United States District Court, District of Columbia
COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff Akube Ndoromo brings this lawsuit against
Defendants the United States Attorney General and the United
States Attorney General for the District of Columbia
requesting “restitution of his funds, and damages,
worth $90, 232, 812.71.” Compl., ECF No. 1, 12.
Plaintiff's Complaint is disjointed and difficult to
understand; but, as the Court reads it, Plaintiff appears to
state three claims for relief. First, Plaintiff alleges that
a 2008 forfeiture order in a criminal matter resulted in the
illegal seizure of his funds and property. Second, Plaintiff
attacks the 2007 jury verdict in that same criminal matter
which found him guilty of multiple counts of false
statements, money laundering, and fraud. Third, Plaintiff
contends that the government violated the False Claims Act.
Defendants have moved for the dismissal of all of
Plaintiff's claims. Upon consideration of the pleadings,
relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, the
Court will GRANT Defendants' Motion to Dismiss as
Plaintiff has failed to state a plausible claim for which
relief may be granted.
purposes of the motion before the Court, the Court accepts as
true the well-pled allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint.
The Court does “not accept as true, however, the
plaintiff's legal conclusions or inferences that are
unsupported by the facts alleged.” Ralls Corp. v.
Comm. on Foreign Inv. in the United States, 758 F.3d
296, 315 (D.C. Cir. 2014). Further, because Plaintiff
proceeds in this matter pro se, the Court must consider not
only the facts alleged in Plaintiff's Complaint, but also
the facts alleged in Plaintiff's Opposition to
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. See Brown v. Whole
Foods Mkt. Grp., Inc., 789 F.3d 146, 152 (D.C. Cir.
2015) (“a district court errs in failing to consider a
pro se litigant's complaint ‘in light of' all
filings, including filings responsive to a motion to
dismiss”) (quoting Richardson v. United
States, 193 F.3d 545, 548 (D.C. Cir. 1999));
Fillmore v. AT & T Mobility Servs. LLC, 140
F.Supp.3d 1, 2 (D.D.C. 2015) (“the Court, as it must in
a case brought by a pro se plaintiff, considers the facts as
alleged in both the Complaint and Plaintiff's Opposition
to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.”). The Court
recites only the background necessary for the Court's
resolution of the pending Motion to Dismiss.
allegations appear to stem from the seizure of
Plaintiff's funds and other property which resulted from
a guilty verdict in the criminal matter, United States v.
James, Case No. 6-cr-19-EGS. In 2006, a federal grand
jury returned a Superseding Indictment charging Plaintiff
with multiple counts of healthcare fraud, false statements,
and money laundering. James, No. 6-cr-19-EGS, ECF
No. 3. The Superseding Indictment included a forfeiture
allegation. Id. at 13-15. On March 30, 2007, a jury
found Plaintiff guilty of one count of healthcare fraud, 11
counts of false statements related to healthcare matters, and
eight counts of money laundering. Id. at ECF No. 37.
The jury further returned a Special Verdict, finding that $1,
856, 812.71 and two vehicles represented property derived
from or proceeds traceable to Plaintiff's criminal acts.
Id. at ECF No. 41.
2008, Plaintiff was sentenced to 57 months of incarceration
and 36 months of supervised release and was ordered to pay
$1, 856, 812.71 in restitution. Id. at ECF No. 117.
At sentencing, the judge indicated that the forfeiture of $1,
856, 812.71 and two vehicles were included as part of
Plaintiff's sentence. Id. at ECF No. 152 at 2.
Accordingly, on December 30, 2008, the court issued two final
Orders of Forfeiture to that effect. Id. at ECF No.
122 (as to funds), 123 (as to vehicles).
the resolution of Plaintiff's criminal matter, the
government continued its pursuit of the forfeiture of
Plaintiff's funds and property in the civil forfeiture
matter, United States v. $455, 273.72, No.
5-cv-356-EGS. And, in 2011, the court granted the government
summary judgment. The court explained that, because
Plaintiff's conviction in his criminal case was based on
the same facts as the civil forfeiture matter,
Plaintiff's funds and property were subject to forfeiture
as the proceeds of an unlawful activity. $455,
273.72, No. 5-cv-356-EGS, ECF No. 73, 12-16.
that time, Plaintiff has filed appeals and otherwise attacked
the results of his criminal and civil forfeiture matters. On
October 10, 2018, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit. As the Court
interprets Plaintiff's Complaint, Plaintiff brings three
claims against Defendants: (1) Plaintiff's property was
improperly seized; (2) Plaintiff's guilty verdict in his
criminal matter should be overturned; and (3) the Government
violated the False Claims Act. See Compl., ECF No.
1. Defendants have moved to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint
in its entirety. See Defs.' Mot., ECF No. 9.
That Motion is currently before the Court.
move to dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). According to Rule
12(b)(6), a party may move to dismiss a complaint on the
grounds that it “fail[s] to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
“[A] complaint [does not] suffice if it tenders
‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further
factual enhancement.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 557 (2007)). Rather, a complaint
must contain sufficient factual allegations that, if accepted
as true, “state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. “A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
their Reply, Defendants note that Plaintiff's Opposition
fails to address any of the arguments set forth in
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. Defs.' Reply, ECF No.
12, 2. Instead, Plaintiff merely recites seemingly random
facts and legal conclusions unrelated to the arguments in
Defendants' Motion. The Court agrees that Plaintiff's
Opposition is wholly unresponsive to Defendants' Motion.
Plaintiff failed to respond to Defendants' arguments,
Defendants ask the court to treat their arguments as conceded
by Plaintiff and to dismiss this case. See Lockhart v.
Coastal Int'l Sec., Inc., 905 F.Supp.2d 105, 118
(D.D.C. 2012) (explaining that the law is “well-settled
in this jurisdiction that when a plaintiff files a response
to a motion to dismiss but fails to address certain arguments
made by the defendant, the court may treat those arguments as
conceded, even when the result is dismissal of the entire
case” (internal quotation marks omitted)). However, the
Court's ability to treat arguments as conceded based
merely on Plaintiff's inadequate Opposition appears to be
more limited that Defendants imply. In Washington
Alliance of Technology Workers v. United States Department of
Homeland Security, 892 F.3d 332 (D.C. Cir. 2018), the
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) explained that a
district court should not treat arguments in a motion to
dismiss as conceded if the plaintiff files a timely response
in opposition to the defendant's motion to dismiss. 892
F.3d at 344. Instead, “a party may rest on its
complaint in the face of a motion to dismiss if the complaint
itself adequately states a plausible claim for relief.”
Id. at 345. As such, the Court's analysis will
focus on whether or not Plaintiff's Complaint states a
“plausible” claim for relief. The court finds
that it does not. As such, dismissal is appropriate. See
Golden v. Management & Training Corp., 319 F.Supp.3d
358, 377-78 (D.D.C. 2018) (evaluating whether the plaintiff
“has stated a plausible claim” despite the
plaintiff's non-responsive opposition to the
defendants' motion to dismiss).