United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
CHI CHEN, PI-CHUAN CHANG, PI-SHAN CHANG, SHUQIN CHEN, XIANGLI CHEN, BINGXIN FAN, QIANG GUO, JINSONG HUANG, LIHUA HUANG, JIAPING JIANG, XIAOWEN JIN, CHENMIN LI, JINGHAN LI, YUN LIU, XIAOWEN PAN, XIAOLI SONG, JINGUO WANG, JIE XIONG, BIN XU, LU YU, QIANG ZHAO, YANYI ZHAO, WENQUAN ZHI, QUAN ZHOU, YIQIN CHEN, KE LI, MING LI, LEI WANG, and ZHISHENG YUAN, Plaintiffs,
U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION; QUARTZBURG GOLD, LP; ISR CAPITAL, LLC; IDAHO STATE REGIONAL CENTER, LLC; and SIMA MUROFF, Defendants.
Ehrlichman, WSBA #6591 Shawn Larsen-Bright, WSBA #37066
Dorsey & Whitney LLP Attorneys for Defendant U.S. Bank
Michael Black, admitted pro hac vice Rita M. Cornish,
admitted pro hac vice April M. Medley, admitted pro hac vice
Parr Brown Gee & Loveless and Lawrence Carl Locker, WSBA
#15819 Steven O. Fortney, WSBA # 44704 Summit Law Group
Attorneys for Plaintiffs.
B. Swartz, admitted pro hac vice Jones & Swartz PLLC and
Thomas M. Brennan, WSBA #30662 Attorneys for Defendants
Quartzburg Gold, LP, ISR Capital LLC, Idaho State Regional
Center, LLC, and Sima Muroff.
JOINT STATUS REPORT AND STIPULATED MOTION AND ORDER
TO STRIKE CASE SCHEDULE AND TRIAL DATE
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
parties to this action (the “Parties”) hereby
respectfully submit this Joint Status Report and Stipulated
Motion to Strike Case Schedule and Trial Date. As set forth
herein, the Parties stipulate to and jointly request that the
current case schedule and trial date be stricken, with the
Parties to submit a further joint status report within ninety
days. Good cause, including judicial economy and efficiency
for the parties, supports this stipulated motion.
case and its companion case (Chi Chen et al. v. U.S. Bank
National Association et al., Case No. 2:16-cv-1109-RSM,
and Mao et al. v. U.S. Bank National Association et
al. (Case No. 2:16-cv-1113-RSM), arise from an EB-5
immigration project and investment known as Quartzburg Gold,
L.P. (“Quartzburg”). The EB-5 program is a legal
mechanism under which foreign nationals can apply for
immigration preferences by making investments in job-creating
enterprises in the United States. Plaintiffs are foreign
citizens who deposited $500, 000 each to participate in this
EB-5 project. The “Quartzburg Defendants” include
Quartzburg (the limited partnership into which the Plaintiffs
would invest); ISR Capital, LLC (the general partner of
Quartzburg); Sima Muroff (the principal of ISR Capital, LLC);
and Idaho State Regional Center, LLC (an affiliated entity
that was the designated regional center for the Quartzburg
EB-5 investment). Defendant U.S. Bank National Association
was the escrow agent with respect to the Quartzburg escrow
account into which Plaintiffs deposited their funds.
immigration petitions associated with their participation in
Quartzburg were initially denied by United States Citizenship
and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). As discussed
below, a lawsuit was successfully waged against USCIS by a
group of investors, including many Plaintiffs, leading to a
remand for further action by the government, which is
cases that were brought against Defendants remain pending
before this Court. Plaintiffs allege that their investment
decision was procured by fraud and that their escrowed funds
were improperly and prematurely released to Quartzburg.
Defendants deny all liability.
Case Schedule and Trial Date
December 28, 2016, the Parties submitted their Joint Status
Report and Discovery Plan. See Dkt. 77
(Chen); Dkt. 70 (Mao). The Parties jointly
anticipated that the cases would be ready for trial by
September 2018, estimated the trials to require twenty days,
and requested that the trials of the two companion cases be
set consecutively. Id. On January 6, 2017, this
Court entered Orders Setting Trial Date and Related Dates
(“Case Schedule”) in the two cases, setting
September 10, 2018 as the trial date in Chen and
October 1, 2018 as the trial date in Mao.
See Dkt. 78 (Chen); Dkt. 72 (Mao).
after some initial discovery commenced, several subsequent
events occurred that caused the parties to slow the pace of
discovery and associated expense, particularly including the