ERIC MONTALVO, FOUNDING PARTNER OF THE FEDERAL PRACTICE GROUP, PROVIDES COMMENTARY TO IRISH SUN ON DANIEL KINAHAN
Posted By smay || 20-Jan-2021
DANIEL Kinahan could have any US assets seized from him if he fails to show up before a Los Angeles court as part of a civil suit against boxing firm MTK.
Crime cartel boss Kinahan, 43, has been named along with MTK and others in the case over the alleged poaching of top boxer Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz from rival manager Moses Heredia.Amended court filings published in California on Monday show a summons has been sent to Kinahan via Dubai PO Box.
The lawyer acting on Heredia’s behalf claims a ruling in his client’s favour could see any or all US assets belonging to MTK or Kinahan seized.
In an exclusive interview with the Irish Sun, Heredia’s lawyer Eric Montalvo, told us: “The bottom line is if the civil litigation results in a finding, there are mechanisms in the federal court to go after assets.
“So that is a possible enforcement mechanism after a judgement.
“As a general matter, if they should get a verdict against them, then their assets in the US could be subject to seizure if they fail to pay.”
It’s understood Daniel’s assets could include any payments he receives for ‘advisory’ roles in organising fights.
Kinahan — one of five defendants named — must now reply, or a judgement by default may be entered against him and the others.
And it alleges the Dubliner, 43, is using his profits from organised crime to do so.
Kinahan — who investigators believe is worth €1bn — supposedly stood away from any involvement in the company in 2017, around a year after the Regency Hotel attack in Dublin which claimed the life of his close associate David Byrne.
MTK later admitted that Kinahan has advised them to sign certain fighters — including global star Tyson Fury, who has no involvement in crime — and has clearly maintained close ties to the organisation.
Just last summer, boxing Hall of Famer and Top Rank promotions chief Bob Arum told the Irish Sun that Kinahan “blessed” MTK fighter Michael Conlan’s 2019 summer bout in Belfast.
There was also uproar when Tyson Fury cited the gangster as one of the organisers of his proposed money-spinning clash with Anthony Joshua.
Explaining what role he plays, the lawsuit, originally submitted late last year, said: “Mr Kinahan continues to arrange boxing matches that involve MTK fighters.
“These matches are steeped in money obtained from drug trafficking and money laundering.
“MTK then uses this money to attempt to bring in more fighters and arrange more fights so that more drug trafficking proceeds can be laundered through what appears to be a legitimate business.”
It also states: “MTK itself is laundering the illicit proceeds of the KOCG drug trafficking enterprise.”
The case accuses MTK of luring JoJo Diaz away from manager Heredia by “providing a financial inducement” of $100,000.
It adds: “This advance essentially caused Mr Diaz to mortgage his future away.”
Diaz became world super featherweight champion in the US early last year, before it was announced some months later on social media he was signing for MTK in August.
This was the first time the Heredia team became aware of the deal. Diaz’s contract with Heredia Boxing Management does not expire until 2022.
The case alleges that MTK has breached the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act. They have done so by using money from organised crime.
The RICO Act is a federal law designed to combat organised crime in the US.
It allows prosecution and civil penalties for racketeering activity performed as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise.
It alleges that MTK was behind a campaign against boxing coach Heredia, including “threatening” letters and “directing a social media campaign where Mr Diaz proclaims he is no longer with the plaintiffs due to them being “toxic” and that the plaintiffs were “f***ing with his money”.
It points to how Kinahan — who previously boasted on social media about his involvement with high-profile boxers — and over 20 associates are banned from the US having been placed on a narco terrorist list, which was revealed by the Irish Sun last year.
Lawyer Montalvo insists this comes down to Kinahan’s actions alone. He told the Irish Sun: “I am not creating a case against Mr Kinahan. He created the case.
“I didn’t tell him to create that company. I didn’t tell him to start tweeting about his involvement with fighters.
“I didn’t tell him to come to the US and violate contractual law, state law and federal law — I didn’t do any of those things.
“Those are choices that company and those individuals made and I am not the one spending the money, he is.
“I’m not saying he’s a narco terrorist. The United States of America said that. I do need to investigate and verify — these are things that happened. I mean he came in and violated this contract, these are facts.”
He added: “There’s plenty of information out there, credible information and not fanciful stuff.
“And the way forward in a civil litigation we get into is called discovery. And that’s where I get to start looking at things and investigating his actual records and what’s going on.”
Kinahan — who waged the war on the Hutch faction in a feud that saw 18 murders including innocent victims — remains a major target for gardai and is wanted for questioning over at least three murder plots in Ireland.
In 2018, in submissions to the High court in a case against one of Kinahan’s most trusted allies Liam Byrne, the Criminal Assets Bureau revealed how Daniel plays an “integral part” in organising the supply of drugs into Ireland.
Last year, the Special Criminal Court here established how the Kinahan Organised Crime Group carries out “execution-style murders” and trafficks drugs and firearms on “an international scale”.
Despite the thug’s notorious reputation, former US Marine Montalvo insists he will not be intimidated by Kinahan.
He said: “I think it’s fair to have a reasonable level of concern that Daniel Kinahan has the ability to do something bad — but then so do lots of other people.
“If that’s how he wants to handle his business, by taking out a counsel that’s causing him pain . . . If somebody really wants that to happen, then it is going to happen.
“But I’m not going to wake up every morning worrying about it.
“Either I’m going to move on and do what I’m going to do or I’m going to go to a corner and hide and that’s not going to happen.”
He added: “It’s fair to say going up against someone like this who has this reputation, places some amount of risk in doing that.
“If that’s what stops us from doing what is supposed to be done, then we are in trouble and then he’s won.
“I’ve never practised law that way and never served in the Marine Corps that way and I’m not going to start at 51 living that way. It’s just not going to happen.”
Mr Montalvo has also requested a copy of the best-seller The Cartel on the Kinahans — written by Irish Sun journalists Stephen Breen and Owen Conlon — to help assist with the case.
Although Mr Montalvo says he is acting on behalf of Heredia, he also believes that challenging Kinahan and his cohorts it is something the sport needs.
By John Hand