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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Plaintiff recovered funds loaned to defunct aviation business — $831,807.99 verdict

Plaintiff recovered funds loaned to defunct aviation business — $831,807.99 verdict

Type of action: Corporate dissolution

Injuries alleged: Fraud, mismanagement of funds

Name of case: Kongolo v. Papillon Air, Inc. and Kindambu

Court: Loudoun County Circuit Court

Case no.: CL 20007391

Tried before: Judge

Name of judge or mediator: Judge James Howe Brown

Date resolved: 10/11/2022

Special damages: $3,200,000

Demand: $3,200,000

Offer: $400,000

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $831,807.99

Attorney for plaintiff (and city): James P. Magner, Leesburg

Description of case: Plaintiff is a citizen of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who loaned $3.2 million to the defendant, Didier Kindambu, for the purpose of starting up an aviation business based in Leesburg.

Defendant squandered most of the money and, separately, was investigated, arrested and convicted of fraud related to federal Payroll Protection Plan loan abuse. Plaintiff was stranded in the DRC due to COVID travel restrictions, while the assets of the company were being seized by the federal government.

Plaintiff hired counsel to attempt to recover any amount of the funds he had loaned to company that could be recovered. Counsel was able to get a corporate receiver appointed who managed to secure and liquidate assets in the amount of $831,807.99.

Kindambu then challenged the distribution of corporate assets to the plaintiff under the grounds that there was no documentation of the loans from the plaintiff and, as a 50% shareholder of the company, Kindambu was entitled to half of the funds.

The plaintiff prevailed at trial in proving that the intent of the parties was that the funds from the plaintiff were intended as a loan and that repayment of those funds was always a term of their agreement, even though no formal loan agreement had ever been signed.

The court ordered that all the funds, less certain costs, collected by the receiver would be turned over to the plaintiff.

Plaintiff’s counsel James P. Magner provided case information.