New court filings in Zayat’s bankruptcy proceedings

The trustee overseeing the personal bankruptcy proceedings of owner, rancher Ahmed Zayat, filed multiple court filings on Tuesday to recover approximately $90,000 in allegedly fraudulent payments to various law firms.

According to court documents, Zayat was insolvent at the time the transfers were made, and as a result, the law firms that are defendants in the lawsuits received more than they would have made in the transfer proceedings. chapter 7 bankruptcy “if the transfer[s] not been done.

Administrator Donald Biase alleges in his court documents that the largest money transfer Zayat made fraudulently was $42,812.32 to Rabinowitz, Lubetkin and Tully.

Zayat also made separate payments of $20,000 to law firms Landrum & Shouse and Lavely & Singer respectively, and an additional $7,500 to Becker & Poliakoff, according to the lawsuits.

Biase suggests that the stipulated sums may not be the total amounts Zayat allegedly paid to each company, with his attorney writing in all filings that Biase is seeking to recover both the stipulated transfers” and other transfers that may be unknown to the fiduciary”.

TDN contacted each of the law firms listed as defendants in the filings by email, but received no response by the deadline.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Zayat declined to comment.

This latest round of legal crossfire is just the latest twist in a long, complicated and often convoluted financial war of attrition, as creditors have sought to recover millions from Zayat and his racing and breeding stable. now disbanded Thoroughbred, one of the most famous attached to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

In his own Chapter 7 filing in 2020, Zayat admitted owing some $19 million to 132 unsecured creditors, the majority of whom were thoroughbred trainers, horse farms, blood companies, veterinarians and corporations. equine transportation.

Late last month, it appeared events had come to an end with the approval of two settlement plans in separate bankruptcy cases. However, neither settlement provided meaningful compensation to these 132 unsecured creditors.

In Zayat’s personal bankruptcy case, the trustee in June negotiated a $1.5 million settlement to be paid by the debtor’s brother, Sherif Zayat, which allows Zayat and his family to continue living in a eight-bedroom, 7,714-square-foot home in Teaneck, New Jersey that is currently valued at $2.6 million.

In July, the court-appointed trustee in the involuntary bankruptcy case brokered a settlement in which Zayat and his family members split $5 million between MGG Investment Group and the trustee.

MGG is the lender that alleged in a 2020 lawsuit that Zayat and his family members fraudulently obtained $30 million in loans and then never repaid much of that debt.

Of this Zayat Stables settlement, only $30,000 has been set aside for unsecured creditors who are legally much lower on the payment priority scale.

In each of the court documents filed on Tuesday, Biase seeks judgment against the defendants “for the reversal and recovery” of the amounts allegedly transferred, for the defendants to “immediately pay the trustee the sums due”, the interest due and the costs of justice, and “for such further relief as the Court may authorize”.

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