Two Atlanta trial lawyers have managed to obtain a seven-figure default judgment against former NBA player Elliott L. “Dale” Davis on charges that he pocketed a couple’s investment money.
The ruling comes more than two years after married plaintiffs Chareka and Calvin Cross filed a lawsuit alleging that Davis defrauded them of more than $1.1 million by acting as their investment advisor.
Despite being armed with the default judgment, plaintiffs’ attorneys at Beal, Sutherland, Berlin & Brown told the Daily Report that they do not expect their clients’ funds to be easily recovered.
“We anticipate that the recovery process will be very difficult as Mr. Davis has undoubtedly been hiding his assets in anticipation of that day,” plaintiff attorney Drew Beal claimed. “However, we are committed to following all available leads to recover everything to which the plaintiffs are entitled.”
In addition to Beal, the plaintiffs’ legal team also included Rachel Berlin Benjamin and Milinda Brown.
As Daily Report reporter Greg Land previously reported, the plaintiff’s attorney said Calvin’s subsequent personal injury lawsuit resulted in “a significant settlement” after he was disabled in a truck accident. The plaintiff’s attorney said Calvin and his wife Chareka then agreed to invest some of the funds with Davis – a former NBA All-Star who previously played center and power forward for the Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors and Detroit Pistons retired in 2007.
Davis had told the couple that he had handled millions of dollars in investments for a number of athletes before taking the plaintiffs to the sites of alleged cannabis farms in Oregon and Washington, according to the plaintiff’s lawsuit, filed in March 2021 Cobb County Superior Court was filed. The plaintiffs later invested more than $116,000 to cover royalties, rent and labor costs for the project.
The plaintiff’s complaint also alleged that Davis used his position as a financial advisor to harass the couple by pressuring them to invest in multiple projects over a period of several years, with very little return on their money .
“Chareka had met Mr. Davis through her work in various capacities and he told her that he was an investment professional and had several very lucrative investments he was working on,” Beal said. “He ultimately persuaded her and Calvin to invest over a million dollars of their savings with him, but they all immediately disappeared.”
After service, Beal said Davis “repeatedly refused to respond to plaintiffs’ complaint.”
(L-R) Scott R. King of SK Law in Atlanta and Chris Berney of Berney Law Firm in Atlanta. (Photo courtesy)
Davis’ defense attorney changed hands several times over the course of the litigation.
Atlanta attorney Scott R. King of SK Law withdrew his representation of Davis in November 2021. Atlanta attorney Chris Berney of the Berney Law Firm added Davis as a client in August 2022 but did not respond to a Daily Report request for comment.
Berney argued on Davis’ behalf during a summary judgment hearing the following month, but that didn’t stop Cobb County Superior Court Judge Angela Z. Brown from granting the plaintiff’s motion in October 2022.
“After a lengthy evidentiary hearing, Judge Angela Brown … found him in default and awarded approximately $1.1 million in damages,” Beal told the Daily Report.
After Brown’s final order was issued on February 3, defense attorneys appealed the grant of summary judgment to the Georgia Court of Appeals in March.
However, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer, the lawsuit will not move forward.
“[T]“The file was not submitted to the appeals court in a timely manner,” Beal said. “Judge Brown granted our motion to dismiss Davis’ appeal because Davis failed to pursue the appeal in a timely manner.”
Read the default judgment
Now in recovery, Beal said the plaintiff’s attorney is moving forward with plans to recover his client’s funds.
“[W]“We must seize the assets and debit Mr. Davis’ accounts to recover the funds the Crosses need to survive,” Beal said. “There are additional defendants in this case who colluded with Mr. Davis in some of his failed investment schemes. We will pursue claims against these companies while seeking redress from Mr. Davis for the judgment we received.”
Beal acknowledged that the recovery effort would likely require an uphill battle, but shared that the plaintiffs are “extremely pleased to finally be able to begin the process of recovering some of their funds that were lost to them as part of Dale Davis’ fraudulent schemes.” became.”