More than 40 creditors are seeking some $420 million from Brentwood businessman Ezri Namvar, who was forced into bankruptcy two months ago after his various ventures collapsed, according to a federal court filing.
The creditors include lenders such as General Electric Capital Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co., in addition to multiple members of the local Persian Jewish community who personally invested in Namvar's real estate and other ventures.
The Jan. 30 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles is the first official look at what Namvar owes. It lists 40 Namvar creditors holding the largest unsecured claims and is not a comprehensive list of all to whom he may owe money, a number that by several estimates may reach 350.
It comes on the heels of Jan. 28 court filings in which Namvar and his Namco Capital Group Inc. investment company acknowledged for the first time that they are bankrupt and seeking Chapter 11 protection. A group of Namvar's investors filed involuntary bankruptcy actions against him and Namco in December.
Timothy Neufeld, an attorney for Namvar and Namco, said his client, who had tried to reach an out-of-court settlement with his creditors, now hopes to reach a settlement through bankruptcy proceedings.
"Mr. Namvar and Namco will continue to work within the bankruptcy system to try to do what is in the best interest of their creditors," said Neufeld, declining further comment.
Namvar did not answer repeated telephone calls for comment.
Namvar's investments include Namwest LLC, a bankrupt residential developer in Phoenix; Park Fifth, a stalled development in downtown Los Angeles that would be the tallest condo tower in the area; and defunct L.A.-based Security Pacific Bank, in whose predecessor Namvar bought a majority share in 1997.
Namvar's financial woes are the result of the recession and dramatic downturn in the real estate market, but what's unusual is the way he raised substantial sums of his money: The 57-year-old businessman convinced fellow members of his Persian Jewish community in and near Beverly Hills to sign over their money, typically $1 million or more each, with scant knowledge of how the money would be invested and with little recourse or collateral, according to investors.
Farhad Yazdinian, an investor who claims he is owed $2.18 million according to the court filing, said he hopes for progress in the bankruptcy case against Namvar.
"I am trying to get on with my life," said Yazdinian. "Life goes on people have to go on with their life. God gives you time; time will heal the problems."
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