$15B suit against DataTreasury dismissed

A judge in Suffolk County has dismissed a A judge in Suffolk County has dismissed a $15 billion lawsuit against a technology company founded in Melville, ruling the claim was filed well beyond the statute of limitations. Photo Credit: Photos.com

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A Suffolk judge has dismissed a $15 billion lawsuit against a technology company founded in Melville, ruling the claim was filed well beyond the statute of limitations.

Ted Doukas, a Florida man formerly from Long Island, sued DataTreasury Corp. and its officials in 2011, claiming they cheated him out of his investment in its technology that is now licensed by banks around the world. The technology is what allows banks to rely on images of checks for payment, instead of the actual paper checks.

State Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Emerson said that although Doukas didn't find out the technology was a success until 2009, he could have found out much sooner if he'd bothered to keep track of his 1997 investment in Claudio Ballard and his company, DataTreasury.

"It defies credulity that Doukas, an experienced entrepreneur who had invested approximately $1 million in the development of the technology, took Ballard at his word and did nothing to verify his statements until April 2009, approximately 12 years later," Emerson wrote.

She noted that articles about the technology appeared in 2001 and about litigation with banks in 2003.

Scott Mollen, the Manhattan attorney for DataTreasury, which is now based in Texas, said the company "is extremely gratified that the court carefully analyzed the 433-paragraph complaint."

Doukas' attorney, Robert Del Col of Smithtown, said he would appeal Emerson's decision.

"She didn't touch the substance of the allegations," he said, adding that Doukas had no way to know the technology was a success once Ballard falsely told him it had fizzled. "Ted's a real estate guy. He was told it didn't work."

In connection with the case in 2009, Doukas and Del Col were arrested and charged with extortion as part of a sting by the Nassau district attorney's office. A judge threw out the indictment, however, ruling that the office improperly appointed a private attorney to handle the case as special prosecutor.

Doukas' federal wrongful prosecution suit against DataTreasury and Nassau officials is pending.

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