Misery Index: Week of April 3, 2017

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PacerMonitor’s look back at this week's most compelling bankruptcies.

Merchant Cash Advance Provider Files Chapter 11 Following RICO Suit

NuLook Capital LLC filed for bankruptcy in New York Eastern Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday, April 5, after being named among defendants in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations lawsuit. Owed $2 million by NuLook Capital, GWG MCA Capital filed the complaint last week, according to the chapter 11 petition signed by Operating Manager Anthony Mannino. NuLook Capital lists up to $10 million in both assets and liabilities.

Payless and 28 Affiliates Seek Relief in Bankruptcy Court

Payless Holdings LLC and 28 affiliates sought protection from creditors on Tuesday

in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.  Signed by CEO W. Paul Jones, the chapter 11 petition lists Morgan Stanley Senior Funding Inc. as a creditor owed $145 million of up to $10 billion in liabilities.

In a statement online LINK?, the discount shoe retailer shared its plan to close some 400 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Payless ShoeSource Canada Inc. and Payless ShoeSource of Puerto Rico, Inc. are among the 28 affiliates that also filed for bankruptcy.

“This is a difficult, but necessary, decision driven by the continued challenges of the retail environment, which will only intensify,” Mr. Jones said. “We will build a stronger Payless for our customers, vendors and suppliers, associates, business partners and other stakeholders through this process.”

The company has negotiated agreements with existing lenders to provide Payless access to DIP financing of up to $385 million.

Read Payless Chief Financial Officer Michael Schwindle’s declaration here.

Neurology Practice of Doctor Mired In Fraud Charges Bankrupt

The owner of Westchester Neurological Consultant, PC sought protection in New York Southern Bankruptcy Court after being charged in a $50 million healthcare fraud scheme in March 2017. Emad Soliman, a board-certified neurologist with his own practice in Yonkers, New York, signed off on the petition, which listed up to $50,000 in assets and $1 million in liabilities. Soliman and others allegedly ran a medical practice that bilked public health care programs and private insurance companies of more than $50 million, according to a statement by Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Bankruptcy Follows Chicago Landlord Accused of Loan Fraud

LaSalle Investors LLC filed for chapter 11 protection on April 4 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Affiliates Erie Street Investors, LLC, George Street Investors, Sheffield Avenue Investors and WSC Parking Fund I followed suit.  Rialto Capital Advisors in Miami is listed among creditors with an unsecured, disputed claim of $18.6 million.

All three petitions were signed by landlord Arthur Holmer who plead guilty in 2015 to allegations that he lied to secure a multimillion-dollar loan. Listed as a managing member of Weiland Ventures and LaSalle Investors, Mr. Holmer was reportedly ordered to pay a $250,000 fine.

Provider of Hospital and Medical Laundry Services Bites Bankruptcy Dust

The Angelica Corp. sought chapter 11 protection on Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Signed by interim Chief Financial Officer John Makuch, the petition lists up to $500 million in assets and liabilities.

Due to regulatory changes in the healthcare industry that began in 2010, the company has faced increasing pricing pressures from its customers and a more challenging operating environment, according to Makuch’s declaration.

“Angelica’s revenues have declined substantially over the last several years and, after the loss of its largest customer in late 2015, have impacted Angelica’s ability to service its long-term debt obligations,” Mr. Makuch said.

Read CFO John Makuch’s declaration here.

Down House Joins Mothership on Bankruptcy Bench

Down House Ventures sought protection from creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas on Monday April 3, following the filing of a lawsuit by investor Richard Rothfelder in Harris County District Court.

The chapter 11 petition, listing assets and liabilities up to $500,000 and $10 million, respectively, was signed by Down House Ventures President Chris Cusack.

Mr. Rothfelder, an attorney in Houston, alleges that payments ceased in May 2015 on his investment in businesses founded by Mr. Cusack. Between Mr. Cusack and his partner Joseph Treadway, the pair launched Down House, D&T Drive Inn, Hunky Dory, Bernadine’s and Foreign Correspondents. Mothership Ventures LLC, the business operating Hunky Dory and Bernadine’s, filed for bankruptcy last week reporting up to $10 million in both assets  and liabilities, according to court documents.

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