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South China Morning Post and Peter Guy Remove Avery Stone’s Defamation and Libel Suit to Federal Court (Sep. 25, 2018, U.S. District Court for Southern District of New York)

On September 21, 2017, the plaintiff, Avery Stone (“Stone”) of New York, commenced this action against South China Morning Post (“SCMP”), a corporation organized under the laws of Hong Kong, and its reporter, Peter Guy (collectively, “the Defendants”) in the Supreme Court of the State of New York (the first-instance court in New York State). On September 25, 2018, the Defendants, on the grounds of complete diversity of citizenship, removed the case to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
During its existence, Stone was a director at Global Monetary Fund, Ltd. (“GMF”), a financial company operating in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. SCMP is Hong Kong’s “newspaper of record”, with more than a hundred thousand daily print subscribers, many of whom are active in the corporate and financial world. In a September 22, 2016 SCMP article written by Peter Guy, and a November 1, 2016 Bloomberg L.P editorial published by SCMP, claim in part, that: “…Avery Stone, along with his GMF partners, “have absconded” with $58 Million Dollars invested into GMF;…that the Hong Kong Police were investigating—but had not yet charged—Avery Stone and his partners for “misappropriation”; …that GMF shareholders and forensic accountants had been unable to contact Avery Stone and his partner since early 2016; and that GMF’s lending operations operated as a “Ponzi scheme.” According to Stone’s complaint, the articles allege that he “is a ‘crook’ and a ‘low-life’, who ‘systematically preyed upon his friends’.” In his complaint filed on September 21, 2017, Stone sought to redress the Defendants’ acts of defamation and libel per se against him, asserting the falsity of the Defendant’s statements and insinuations.
Written by Antoinette Adesanya

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