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Lender targets Moss & Associates headquarters

By Paul Brinkmann, South Florida Business Journal

Attorneys for the lender on the stalled Chub Cay Club resort in the Bahamas have succeeded in gaining a charging order against one of Bob Moss’ companies.

The order means the company is now held legally responsible for paying a judgment against it, possibly in addition to interest and costs.

Moss, owner of the Moss & Associates construction company, is the subject of a collection attempt on a $24 million judgment against him and two other Fort Lauderdale businessmen who invested in the resort.

The lender is BA Chub Cay LLC, which is represented locally by attorney Tom Angelo, of Fort Lauderdale-based Angelo & Banta.

Moss has said repeatedly that he anticipates the judgment will be resolved by the eventual sale of the resort property, and that he doesn’t believe it will affect his primary business, Wilton Manors-based Moss & Associates.

The most recent action, however, puts the lenders claims squarely on a smaller operation that is 59 percent owned by Moss, Moss Office Building LLC, the owner of the Moss companies’ headquarters building at 2101 N. Andrews Ave.

U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas granted the lender a “charging order” on April 29. The order states that the lender “shall have only the rights of an assignee of all of Bob L. Moss’ membership interest in Moss Office Building LLC … until the above judgment has been satisfied or until further order of this court.”

A spokesman for Moss said the order was “procedural in nature” and does not affect Moss’ other companies in any way.

“If Moss Office Building LLC were ever to pay dividends to its shareholders, Chub Cay would have right to those dividends, or if the building would be sold. That’s all this does,” said Ray Casas, of Miami-based public relations firm Wragg & Casas.

Angelo declined to comment for this story, but he and his firm’s attorneys have already filed more motions, seeking orders on other Moss businesses, although not on Moss & Associates.

Motions are pending against Moss’ 9 percent interest in Fort Lauderdale-based Developort LC, and a series of oil development investments managed by Addison, Texas-based Grand Energy, where Moss has interests ranging from 1 percent to 3 percent.

Summary judgment in 2009
BA Chub Cay, which was an affiliate of Blackacre Capital Management, received summary judgment in July 2009 against Moss, the late Kaye Pearson and Walter McCrory in New York federal court. The award covered the $16 million principal and $8.2 million in interest.

As of 2009, Chub Cay was operating as a resort with customs, an airstrip, full marina and restaurant under a receiver appointed by the Bahamian government.

Moss Office Building owns portions of the property at 2101 N. Andrews Ave., which is valued at $2.41 million, according to county property records. Moss’s 59 percent ownership would be about $1.4 million.

Earlier this year, a Broward County Circuit Court judge approved an effort to include Cheryl Pearson, the widow of Kaye Pearson, as a defendant in the case. Kaye Pearson was best known as the founder of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Broward Circuit Judge Mark Speiser granted the order Feb. 8, after attorneys for BA Chub Cay alleged that Kaye Pearson transferred assets to his wife in 2008 as the lender pursued the developers to enforce personal guarantees they had made on loans for the resort project. The senior lender on the Chub Cay project settled out, and BA Chub Cay was the former mezzanine lender.

Pearson, McCrory and Moss were among 41 local investors who purchased the 1,000-acre island in 2004 and developed a marina with more than 100 slips. The development’s pool and first 16 luxury oceanfront homes were completed.

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