James Lomma, whose crane collapsed at an Upper East Side condominium development and killed two people in 2008, was ordered to pay $1.5 million into an escrow account or face fines for breaching a bankruptcy-court order.
Lomma — the self-described “King of Cranes” — filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in January last year, days after he was ordered to pay $96 million to the families of men killed at the Azure condo construction site. The machine’s operator, Donald Leo and laborer Ramadan Kurtaj, 27, both died when the crane collapsed. A Manhattan jury found Lomma 61 percent liable and his firm 39 percent liable for the 2008 accident.
Lomma Had Been Ordered By Brooklyn Bankruptcy Court judge Carla Craig to put the earnings from renting out his hundreds of cranes into an escrow account until an appeal of the verdict was final, the New York Post reported. However, according to the newspaper, Lomma was caught funneling the money back into the company. He now must put $1.5 million into the account by June 9, or will face paying $10,000 in daily fines.
At the hearing last week, Lomma claimed he didn’t realize the money was going back into the firm until it was too late. However, Craig said there was “ample records” to support he was in contempt of the confirmation order.
“Whether he knew what was happening when the money came in or not, it was his business to keep on top of that,” she said, according to the Post.