An attorney for Newport Interstate Properties Inc.--accused this week in an involuntary bankruptcy petition of misappropriating $897,000 from investors--said Friday that neither the company nor its president had done anything wrong.
The attorney, Gary S. Mobley, also represents Newport Interstate's president, Richard J. Lorenat. Mobley said he was surprised by former investors' petitions for the involuntary liquidation of the assets of both the company and of Lorenat. "We vigorously deny any wrongdoing and intend to oppose these petitions," Mobley said.
In petitions filed Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 11 investors alleged that Newport Interstate violated federal securities law by lying to them and misappropriating their assets.
The investors said they each put up $75,000 to $250,000 in 1985 to buy into real estate syndications--interests in partnerships that would own parcels of land in Victorville, Houston, Tucson and Phoenix. The syndication shares were sold by Newport Interstate Properties, court papers said.