Acadia Realty Trust filed yet another suit against developer Benjamin Ringel – this time going after his $12.5 million Southampton mansion and accusing the president of Armstrong Capital of evading debt collection.
The real estate investment trust, which filed suit Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court, won an $11.5 million judgment against Ringel last year in a case involving a New Jersey shopping center, owned by Ringel and other investors, that defaulted on its loans.
Acadia claims that before the judgment was ordered last year, Ringel fraudulently transferred a 50 percent interest in an LLC that owns his three-acre Southampton estate to his wife, Yael, for no financial consideration in an effort to evade creditors.
Ringel and his wife purchased the Sagaponack property for $4.2 million in 2005 and constructed a seven-bedroom, 15,000-square-foot home on the site. The property’s assessed value stood at $12.5 million as of last year – but with Ringel’s outstanding debt on the home, the REIT claims the couple’s ownership in the mansion is worth $4 million. The suit assesses the value of the interest that Ringel transferred to his wife at no less than $2 million.
Acadia seeks the restoration of the 50 percent interest to Ringel and, in turn, the turnover of his complete right, title and interest in the property LLC. The suit also seeks an alternative judgment of $2 million if Yael Ringel “has transferred or disposed” of her membership in the property.
“To this day, while Ringel passes his time evading creditors, such as Acadia, to whom he collectively owes tens of millions of dollars, he and his wife regularly enjoy the comfort of the Hamptons mansion,” the lawsuit states.
The Bank of Smithtown, which financed the Ringels’ purchase of the property and the construction of the mansion, commenced foreclosure proceedings in 2010, the lawsuit claims.
Representatives for Acadia could not be reached for comment, nor could representatives for Ringel.