Judge grants seizure of property in Hexcel case against Luminati

04/25/2019 9:33 AM |

A state supreme court judge granted Hexcel Corporation’s motion for an order of seizure against Luminati Aerospace Wednesday. 

After no one from Luminati or Hexcel showed up in court in Central Islip Wednesday, Judge Jerry Garguilo ruled on the case based on the submissions made to court. 

Hexcel, a Stamford, Conn.-based company, loaned Luminati Aerospace $10 million in 2016 and last month took them to court, claiming Luminati had defaulted on that loan.

Hexcel Corporation asked the court to seize property belonging to Luminati at the Enterprise Park at Calverton in order to turn it over to Hexcel, which said the default allowed them to accelerate the due date on the loan so it is due immediately.

The property in question has a value of about $7.4 million, according to an affidavit from Brett Schneider, president of Global Fibers, a business unit of Hexcel, a commercial aerospace, industrial development and space and defense contractor.

On its website, Luminati also lists Brett Schneider as a member of its board.

Wendy Klein, an attorney for Hexcel, said in a letter to the court that Hexcel would not be present Wednesday due to Luminati’s failure to file any opposition to the motion for seizure. 

The judge ruled that the Sheriff’s department can break open, enter and search both the 400 David Court building and the rented Louodis building at 350 Burman Blvd. to search for the property in question.

Luminati Aerospace 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 building large shopping malls like the Mall of America in Minnesota, owns the other 75% of CAT.

The loan from Hexcel was due by May 12, 2023, according to court documents, but the contract gives Hexcel the authority to accelerate the due date if Luminati is found to be in default of the agreement.

The lawsuit claims Luminati is in default because it failed to pay taxes on the property, as required in the loan agreement, and failed to adequately maintain insurance on equipment and other collateral property that was pledged as security for the loan.

Hexcel claims in its complaint that Luminati has failed to deliver the collateral equipment it has sought to have turned over.

The lawsuit also asks that Luminati be made to pay all expenses incurred by Hexcel in enforcing the property seizure.

Luminati owns the former SkyDive Long Island building on 400 David Drive in Calverton but also had leased space from Laoudis of Calverton in the former Grumman hangar 6.

Laoudis brought an eviction notice against Luminati, saying they had not paid rent on the building. Luminati voluntary left that site earlier this month. 

A German company that sold a $147,000 machine to Luminati Aerospace in 2016 has also 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. That case, filed earlier this month, is ongoing.

Luminati also owed Riverhead Town back taxes on the David Drive property, along with unpaid runway use fees, and unpaid false alarm fines on that property.

On Wednesday, Triple Five issued a press release indicating that they were paying Luminati’s debt to the town, which they said was $46,000. 

Meanwhile, Luminati founder Daniel Preston was quoted on an update web site called mylittlefalls.com saying that he was moving his company out of Calverton and into Little Falls, N.Y. Mr. Preston said he would continue to be a landowner and investor at the Enterprise Park at Calverton.

Riverhead Town now plans on hiring a law firm to determine if Luminati’s recent problems impact the town’s contract with CAT.

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