One man, three bankruptcies: Verrino Construction files for Chapter 7

Construction firm, founder concurrently seek bankruptcy protection in “unusual” arrangement

New York /
Aug.August 19, 2021 02:45 PM
One man, two companies, three bankruptcies

Richard Verrino, 370 Clayton Rd, Scarsdale (VCS-Corp, LinkedIn, Zillow)

Three years after his construction firm, Verrino Construction Services, emerged from Chapter 11, Richard Verrino says his company is broke again — and so is he.

Verrino threw two companies into bankruptcy this week — a construction consultancy with projects in Manhattan and an LLC in Westchester County. He declared personal bankruptcy in early July.

Verrino and his companies filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, meaning a court-appointed trustee will sell his personal and corporate assets to pay his creditors. An attorney for Verrino said the businesses are no longer making money and that his client “is entitled to relief.”

“The bankruptcies are a little unusual,” said Schuyler Carroll, an attorney at the law firm Loeb & Loeb, not only because it is uncommon for companies and their officers to seek relief concurrently, but because Verrino and his companies appear to claim ownership of identical assets.

“These companies might be better off in Chapter 11,” said Carroll, because the debtor could retain assets and reorganize debt. Lengthy reorganizations, however, can be costly for small companies, said Carroll — a lesson Verrino may have learned when his firm filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2018.

Verrino now seeks relief from many of the same debts he attempted to sort out three years ago.

On social media, Verrino represents himself as a director of construction at OKO Group, a Miami development firm created by Vladislav Doronin. Doronin is among the most active developers in Miami’s luxury market. OKO did not return a request for comment.

Debts listed by Verrino and his companies in New York include millions of dollars in business loans he personally guaranteed. Nine lawsuits against him and Verrino Construction Services are pending, according to bankruptcy filings.

The firm lists among its projects the ABC Disney television studios in Times Square, a Puma store in Soho and several high-end residential renovations, including the Biltmore apartment building at 271 West 47th Street. The company did not return a request for comment.

A 6,000-square-foot home, which Verrino built in Scarsdale using the limited liability company VCS Residential in 2017, secured much of the debt Verrino owes. While bankruptcy documents appraise the value of the home at $3.3 million, it’s currently listed for $2.6 million.

Verrino wants the court to spare his primary residence in Armonk from liquidation. Purchased in 2008 for $1.5 million, Verrino puts its current value at $1.1 million.

When the bankrupt party benefits from discrepancies in asset values, “some call it strategic,” said Carroll. “Some call it shady.”





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