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Businessman's Interests Freed From Receivership

Courts: Action taken earlier to satisfy claims of a law firm against the founder of Presidential Air is reversed.


SANTA ANA — Orange County businessman Ray Novelli has succeeded in overturning a court-appointed receivership placed on his business interests earlier this month.

Superior Court Commissioner F. Latimer Gould signed an order Monday revoking the appointment of a temporary receiver for Presidential Air Inc. and six other companies with links to Novelli. Gould placed the businesses in receivership in early June to satisfy the claims of Barclay Law Corp., a Newport Beach law firm that is owed more than $60,000 by Novelli for unpaid legal bills.

Monday's order requires the receiver, Clarke Fairbrother of Irvine, to immediately relinquish control of the companies and to vacate the Newport Beach premises of the companies. However, it does not absolve Novelli of his debt. The order allows Barclay to lay claim to any "net wages" paid to Novelli by the firms until the entire amount is satisfied.

Novelli on Monday called the commissioner's decision "a total victory" and a "vindication" of his claims that Barclay misused the receivership function in an attempt to collect the money owed him.

Barclay spokesman and principle John Barclay was not available for comment, nor was Fairbrother.

In addition to Presidential Air, the companies removed from receivership are President's Travel Club Inc., All Seasons Resorts Inc., Adventure Resorts of America Inc., Fiesta Resorts Inc., Guardian Publishing Co. Inc. and Revcon Motor Coach Inc.

Novelli founded the cut-rate carrier Presidential Air last fall. Based in Long Beach, the airline provided nonstop service between Long Beach and Houston at bargain prices. However, the carrier suspended service April 8 after maintenance costs on the company's jets proved prohibitive.

The other businesses are involved in the motor home recreation industry.

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