Bankrupt businessman Ezri Namvar's main company, Namco Capital Group Inc., owes $545 million to 464 creditors, according to documents filed March 15 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles.
The documents show that Namco's assets are valued at $671 million, which means his assets exceed liabilities by $126 million. However, that's not particularly rare in a bankruptcy case, especially if payments are not being made.
"People can throw you into bankruptcy, even if you do have enough assets to pay off debts (if) you are not paying off debt," said attorney Seong Kim, who was not involved in the involuntary bankruptcy action but is representing a Namvar creditor.
Such filings provide the first, official big-picture look in bankruptcy cases.
The Namco assets and liabilities list was signed by Howard Grobstein, a forensic accountant hired by Namco as president in February. The document states that the asset values are from Namco's internal accounting and have not been verified for accuracy.
Grobstein, Namvar, Namvar's bankruptcy counsel and Namco did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
The Brentwood businessman and his investment company were forced into bankruptcy in December by a handful of creditors who weren't being paid and were fearful he was disposing of assets to pay back some creditors preferentially.
Namvar, who sought bankruptcy protection for himself and his investment company in January, is feared to have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in investments largely made personally by members of his Persian Jewish community in and around Beverly Hills.
Namvar was due to file a list of his personal assets and liabilities on March 15, but one could not be found on the bankruptcy court's Web site by the Business Journal.
However, the documents filed over the weekend publicly divulge for the first time a lengthy list of Namco's creditors, and will heighten fears that his assets had been grossly overstated since many were acquired at the height of the real estate bubble.
The Business Journal reported in its March 9 issue that an asset list distributed in November during out-of-court settlement talks showed that Namvar and his company stated assets totaling $1.55 billion. What's more, that figure was far smaller than a less detailed July asset list that assigned a $2.43 billion market value to the holdings. The internal lists identify the holdings as those of Namvar and his company.
The bankruptcy documents also shows eight transfers of Namco properties worth $10.5 million to creditors that were made in the 90 days prior to bankruptcy. These transactions could be unwound if they are found to support preferential payments.
The bankruptcy documents list 224 limited liability companies, special purpose entities and people that Namco identifies as owing it money. The Business Journal previously reported that Namvar established such entities to hold real estate, and many of the LLCs were on the internals lists.
However, also listed in the latest bankruptcy filing are several of Namvar's relatives -- including his four children and at least one brother. The family members are stated to owe Namco $246 million in total.
Another attorney representing creditors said the family ownership groups confirmed widespread belief in the Byzantine structure of Namvar's businesses.
"I'm not surprised," said attorney A. David Youssefyeh. "In spite of the assertions of Mr. Namvar and his brothers over the last couple of months, this is just more proof Mr. Namvar worked in concert with his family members and that they were all one in the same."
Unsecured creditors named in the bankruptcy filing include several people previously identified as creditors by the Business Journal, including Abraham Assil, Benjamin Efraim, and Arash Hakhamian.
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