Grupo Flor’s legal team packs it up after a day of testimony | Royal Calkins
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By Royal Calkins
A Monterey County jury ruled Friday that neither Nader Agha nor Mike Bitar should be awarded damages in their bitter legal entanglement. After deliberating for about a day, it determined both Agha and Bitar acted in bad faith to each other. It found that Bitar committed fraud against Agha, but chose to award no damages to either side.
The decision ended a two-week trial in which Agha, a prominent Monterey Peninsula businessman, accused Bitar, a former business partner of a number of fraudulent activities. Bitar, who founded a cannabis production company called Grupo Flor, countersued. The opposing lawsuits were combined and presented to the jury this month.
“The jury was bound and determined not to give anybody any money,” said one of Agha’s lawyers, Marc Eisenhart. The jury found that Agha had breached his contract with Bitar and Grupo Flor, and unfairly interfered with their business operations.
The jury found that both Agha and Grupo Flor had knowingly breached the covenant of good faith. The jury ruled that Bitar had knowingly committed fraud against Agha and that Grupo Flor countenanced and even encouraged the fradulent behavior.
In summary, Agha alleged that Bitar forged his forged his signature on numerous lease documents and deceived Agha about how much many of the marijuana growers in Moss Landing were paying for rent each month. Bitar and Grupo Flor allege that after that celebratory evening in 2016, Agha got greedy and ended his relationship with Grupo Flor without explanation so he could rake in more money from the pot-growing tenants.
The trial was presided by Judge Susan Matcham and featured eight different lawyers.
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