The Sept. 21 indictment of Ezri Namvar on five counts of wire fraud is like just about everything else associated with the bankrupt Brentwood businessman: a muddled situation.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee R. Todd Neilson has vowed the criminal matter will not have an impact on the bankruptcy proceedings. Others are not so sure.
Neilson said that Namvar has not been very helpful in the past, so he and the trustee of Namvar’s main company, Namco Capital, have been pressing on with no expectation of help.
“Therefore, his indictment will have little or no effect on the administration of the bankruptcy,” said Neilson in an e-mail interview.
However, Dan Schechter, a bankruptcy expert and professor at Loyola Law School, said that relatives of Namvar who may be able to help resolve issues in the bankruptcy would be less inclined to offer aid now that there is a criminal case.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if the family would clam up and evoke the Fifth,” he said.
The indictment accuses Namvar of stealing $23 million from five clients of Namco Financial Exchange Corp., a company of his that acted as an intermediary for investors in tax-deferred property exchanges.
The indictment alleges that instead of holding the funds as promised, Namvar took money out of his clients’ accounts and used it to pay back investors of Namco Capital.
Familial participation in the bankruptcy is important because Namvar’s operation had vast family involvement, with relatives taking ownership positions in many properties largely purchased with investors’ money.
Christopher Reeder, who represents three brothers of Namvar, said his clients would continue to help the trustees. “Our intent as it has always been is to support the most successful outcome of the bankruptcy,” he said.
Namvar, who is expected to turn himself in voluntarily to authorities Monday, declined comment. His criminal defense attorney, Marc Harris, said the businessman would plead not guilty.
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