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Dart’s Fund May Get Top Court Review on Argentine Judgment

Two funds, one controlled by billionaire Kenneth Dart, may get a U.S. Supreme Court hearing in their legal fight to collect at least $2 billion owed by the government of Argentina.

The justices today asked the Obama administration for advice on an appeal by Dart’s EM Ltd. and NML Capital Ltd., an affiliate of the New York-based hedge fund Elliott Associates LP, in a multi-pronged dispute stemming from Argentina’s 2001 default on $95 billion of bonds.

The funds, which refused to exchange their securities in a 2005 Argentine debt swap, are seeking to enforce $2 billion in judgments they have won in U.S. court cases.

In the case acted on today, EM and NML are trying to seize $100 million in Argentine central bank assets being held at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. A federal appeals court said that money is shielded under the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

Argentina believes the U.S. will support its position, said an official at the country’s central bank who declined to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly.

Dart is president of Mason, Michigan-based Dart Container Corp., the world’s largest maker of foam cups. He gave up his U.S. citizenship in the 1990s to avoid taxes and moved to the Cayman Islands.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor didn’t take part in today’s order. She was involved in the litigation over Argentina’s bonds as an appeals court judge.

The case is EM Ltd. v. Republic of Argentina, 11-604.

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