Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Pace-O-Matic announces major fraud claim against law firm

Pace-O-Matic (POM) has accused a law firm of “double-dealing” and waging a campaign designed to “destroy POM’s business.”

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott is facing allegations that it “took up arms” against POM on behalf of Pennsylvania’s Parx Casino.

The lawsuit contends that Eckert “actively participated in and covertly manipulated litigation” adverse to POM’s interests. The company claims Eckert, “working at the behest of Parx Casino and its consultants,” sought to block it from doing business in Pennsylvania.

In particular, Eckert allegedly used its influence to “improperly target the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).”

Eckert represented POM and Parx simultaneously, despite Parx opposing POM’s operations in Pennsylvania, it said. When confronted, Eckert denied the conflict of interest.

However, in November 2021, US Magistrate Judge Joseph Saporito Jr found that Eckert had acted in “bad faith” by seeking to withhold emails that demonstrated it was representing both Parx and POM. Eckert appealed but Federal Judge Jennifer P. Wilson ruled for POM earlier this month.

The law firm then swore to not engage in a conflict again but according to POM, “continued to work surreptitiously against POM and POM’s interests.”

Michael Barley, POM’s Chief Public Affairs Officer, said: “Make no mistake about it, Eckert engaged in an egregious conflict of interest where they unethically pitted one client against another.

“This case and record are clear, and we are hopeful the courts will right the damage that Eckert and its agents have inflicted upon POM, its customers and countless Pennsylvanians.”

This comes after POM accused the PGCB of “coordinated harassment” at the “urging, behest and direct direction of big casino interests” back in June. POM is a skill-based gaming company headquartered in Georgia.

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