Nicholas Malfitano Aug. 19, 2015, 1:19pm


PHILADELPHIA – Defendants in a fraud action seek the permission of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas to have more time for evidence examination and to amend their findings of fact against the plaintiff.

Dean E. Weisgold, counsel for Jacques Ferber of Narberth and Gene Lefevre of Philadelphia, filed motions for extraordinary relief on June 30 and to amend court documents on July 10.

Weisgold explained he and his clients had only received copies of plaintiff Jeannie Stofman’s deposition, originally taken March 10, on June 22. At that deposition, Stofman denied the legitimacy of signatures bearing her name on documents, and Weisgold claimed the defense needed more time to analyze that paperwork.

Further, Weisgold desired the opportunity to amend the defense’s records to include “facts developed in discovery regarding Stofman’s role in Bonaparte Square Associates," relevant documents to that role, provide new affirmative defenses, clarify a cross-claim against Ferber and assert a counter-claim against Stofman for breach of fiduciary duty. 

A hearing in this matter was set for Tuesday in Court chambers at Philadelphia City Hall.

Stofman, a resident of Aventura, Fla., filed suit against Ferber, Lefevre and Growth Properties of Philadelphia in July 2014 (along with a pair of amended complaints in August and November last year), alleging charges of fraud, fraudulent/intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and contribution.

According to her suit, Stofman explained she had a great reputation in Philadelphia in the 1980s for restoring various properties. In 1988, Stofman claimed she was approached by the defendants for the purpose of joining together to restore and sell condominiums and townhouses in the Philadelphia area. 

Stofman emphasized that a formal agreement never existed at any time between herself, Ferber and Lefevre, but the defendants nevertheless formed an organization called “Bonaparte Square Associates."

In the organization’s documents, Ferber was listed as a “partner," with Stofman and Growth Properties each listed as a “general partner," the complaint says. 

Once the organization began conducting business, Stofman maintains she never received any money in compensation.

Later, a judgment lien was entered against Ferber, Stofman and Growth Properties in the amount of $35,928.09 by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, for alleged failure to pay unemployment compensation taxes. 

Stofman asserts she was never made aware of this judgment when she filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings in December 1991, and only learned of it when she attempted to sell a property she owned in Philadelphia in January 2014. Stofman believes the only reason she was listed as a defendant for the lien was due to her listing as a “general partner” on the Bonaparte Square Associates paperwork.

By February 2014, the judgment lien amount grew to $99,622.01, having accrued interest, unpaid taxes, penalty fees and legal costs over a 20-plus year period.

The state made a deal with Stofman where it would lower the amount of the lien to $80,000, if it were paid that amount in full from the proceeds of the sale of her property, the complaint says. Stofman paid the $80,000 price the state requested, but claims she was never reimbursed by the defendants.

Therefore, the plaintiff is seeking a judgment of $80,000, plus interest, court costs and other relief.

The plaintiff is represented by Evan Bachove of Fineman, Krekstein & Harris, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Weisgold in Philadelphia, plus Mark S. Cohen of Askot, Weiner & Cohen in Ardmore.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 140604850

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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