A Germany-based company that sold a $147,000 machine to Luminati Aerospace in 2016 has filed a federal lawsuit alleging Luminati failed to pay the final $91,000 owed and failed to return or disclose its location once the payments stopped, according to court documents filed April 10 in the Eastern District Court of New York.
The company, ZSK Stickmaschinen GmbH, is seeking the $91,000 plus interest, repossession of its machine and €7,600 plus interest for failing to pay for tutorial/training sessions that were held for eight days following delivery of the machine. The euros figure is equivalent to about $8,500.
Luminati had agreed to pay for the tutorial/training sessions and expenses associated with it, including flights, hotel, daily allowances and car rental, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit is the latest trouble for the beleaguered company that is also facing legal action from a Stamford, Conn.-based company that alleges Luminati defaulted on a $10 million loan in 2016. Luminati was also facing eviction from the space it had been leasing at the Enterprise Park at Calverton when it agreed to leave the former Grumman Plant 6 earlier this month.
Luminati is owned by Daniel Preston, and owns 25% of Calverton Aviation & Technology, the company in contract to buy 1,643 acres of land at EPCAL from Riverhead Town for $40 million. Triple Five Group, which is best known for developing large shopping malls like the Mall of America in Minnesota, owns the other 75% of CAT.
The latest lawsuit says Luminati entered into a contract with ZSK to purchase an embroidery machine for $147,000 around Aug. 16, 2016. A $43,000 downpayment was to be followed by eight quarterly payments of $13,000, according to the lawsuit. Luminati payed the downpayment and one quarterly payment. The balance remains unpaid and ZSK has been unable to track down where the machine is currently located.
The contract agreement does not give Luminati the right to resell or relocate the machine without written consent. The machine is “highly sensitive, sophisticated and valuable,” the lawsuit says.
ZSK believes the machine is either still at Plant 6, at 400 David Court in Calverton or at a facility in Little Falls, N.Y. The company says a “Sheriff of the State of New York will likely [be] needed to enter the premises” where the machine is located to retrieve it. Luminati purchased the former Skydive Long Island property in 2016 for $3.4 million, which is listed on the town’s tax map at 400 David Court.
Luminati leased the former Plant 6 from Laoudis of Calverton, which began the eviction process before Luminati agreed to leave. The process of fully vacating Plant 6 was expected to take some time, attorney Jonathan Brown said outside Riverhead Justice Court April 3.
The lawsuit also says Luminati approved payment of ZSK’s invoice for the training, but the company has yet to make good on the payments.
The contract says that if the purchaser fails to pay by due date or it becomes clear the company cannot make further payments, the merchandise “shall be immediately returned to us at the purchaser’s cost,” according to the lawsuit.
Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said she was unaware of the lawsuit Wednesday night. She said it was “modus operandi,” for Mr. Preston.
“He goes in and gets stuff or does stuff then he doesn’t follow through,” she said. “Debts follow him wherever he is. … I don’t think anyone has conducted business with them that hasn’t come out being harmed in some way.”
An attorney for Luminati did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.
WITH TIM GANNON