A new bankruptcy filing logged in Connecticut may provide a window into just how cash-strapped embattled developer Joseph Beninati has truly become.
A Connecticut entity linked to Beninati and his wife Rhonda Beninati has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing liabilities between $500,000 and $1 million, according to the filing.
The entity, Persistence Partners IV LLC, of which both Rhonda is listed as the sole shareholder and Joseph as manager, lists its creditors as its accountants, to whom it owes just $16,000, and a tax collector.
Beninati did not respond to several requests for comment.
While the filing does not equate to a personal bankruptcy, it makes clear that he has major financial troubles.
The developer is currently fighting foreclosure on his condominium project at 3 Sutton Place in Midtown East and recently sued his mezzanine lender Gamma Real Estate in federal bankruptcy court for at least $100 million in damages, alleging that Gamma’s principal N. Richard Kalikow conspired to take control of the property. Beninati borrowed $147 million with 30 percent interest from Gamma in the form of a mezzanine loan for the acquisition and pre-development of the project, but defaulted on the loan in January, ultimately filing for bankruptcy protection there too. According to a Crain’s article, Beninati invested just $5 million into the Sutton Place project.
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