Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Judge Rejects Brivik's Lawsuit

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Judge Rejects Brivik's Lawsuit

Article excerpt

AGENT AND DEVELOPERS: FDLE decision can't be appealed, but other can beTAMPAA U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Longboat Key businessman Mark Brivik against an FDLE agent and seven of Brivik's investors who had accused Brivik of fraud.Brivik was arrested in July 2010 on charges involving a failed, boomtime real estate deal and spent 24 days in jail.Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington dismissed the suit against Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent Claudia Law with prejudice, meaning Brivik is prohibited from re-filing the case against her, though he can appeal that decision.The judge dismissed the action against investors without prejudice, meaning Brivik and his lawyer can re-file that complaint.That is exactly what Brivik's Chicago-based attorney, Blake Horwitz, intends to do."This is not going away," Horwitz said.Brivik filed the suit in September, charging Law with false arrest and malicious prosecution, and his former investment partners -- John Murray, Steve Murray, Joseph Russo, Ron Carr, Richard Zimmerman, Andre Panet-Raymond and Abraham Smajovits -- with providing false evidence against him.The investors told Law that Brivik had defrauded them out of millions of dollars by duping them into believing he had an option to buy a parcel of land along a bend in the Upper Manatee River that was critical to the development of adjacent land that Brivik had already bought.Investors told Law they later discovered the option to buy the land only gave Brivik the right to buy the land if the current owner chose to sell within a three-year window.Brivik has always maintained there was no option and that he never attempted to defraud his fellow investors. Six months after his arrest, the FDLE's charges against him were dropped when the State Attorney's Office opted not to prosecute."Mr. Brivik, a successful businessman (prior to his arrest) was criminally prosecuted, incarcerated and thrust into the public spotlight for a crime he did not commit," Brivik's attorney wrote in court documents filed last week. "Officer Law's conduct caused Mr. …

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