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Developer Bob Moss, wife caught up in legal wrangle over loans

By Thomas Angelo on September 16, 2011 in Press Releases
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By Paul Brinkmann, South Florida Business Journal

Fort Lauderdale developer Bob Moss and his wife, Sandra Moss, are being called before a federal judge to explain why her name is on a $1.25 million promissory note that is the object of a seizure attempt.

Lenders are pursuing Bob Moss and his assets over personal guarantees he provided for loans on a resort project in the Bahamas that stalled in 2004. Moss is chairman and CEO of Fort Lauderdale-based construction company Moss & Associates, which is currently involved in building the new Florida Marlins ballpark.

Although Bob and Sandra Moss are both listed on a $1.25 million capital contribution to Moss & Associates, lawyers for a lender on the Bahamas development say documents indicate the money came from Bob Moss only.

“The execution of the note failed to create a vaild tenancy by the entirety as between Moss and Sandra,” a March 9 filing in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale states.

A spokeswoman for Moss family said they intend to vigorously defend against attempts to seize the note.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow has ordered that, if the Mosses don’t adequately explain why Sandra Moss’ name was listed, the note can be seized by the U.S. Marshals Service and sold at auction immediately to help satisfy a $24 million judgment.

Seven years ago, Moss and 40 local investors purchased a 1,000-acre island called Chub Cay. They developed a marina with more than 100 slips. But bigger plans stalled, leaving only the development’s pool and first 16 luxury homes.

One of the lenders on the resort was BA Chub Cay LLC, an affiliate of Blackacre Capital Management. The lender filed lawsuits demanding that Moss and his business partners repay their loans. A $24 million judgment was registered in New York and Florida against Moss, the late Kaye Pearson and attorney Walter McCrory.

Attempts to collect on the loan have been stymied partly because Moss, Pearson and McCrory had their wives’ names on most of their assets. Minutes of a 2008 Moss & Associates meeting indicate Bob and Sandra Moss own 60 percent of the Moss company jointly.

The lead attorney for the lender is Tom Angelo of Angelo & Banta, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale. The firm recently succeeded in “inter-pleading” Sandra Moss into the lawsuit to seek recovery of money from Bob Moss.

pbrinkmann@bizjournals.com | (954) 949-7562