Despite losing control of his company and undergoing bankruptcy proceedings since 2006, former Innovative Telephone owner Jeffrey Prosser and his wife, Dawn, continue to live in a Palm Beach, Fla., mansion … “without paying.”
That’s according to Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee James Carroll, who has been trying to arrange the sale of the mansion, despite repeated maneuvers by the Prossers to frustrate his efforts.
According to a recent court document filed by Carroll, “The Prossers have continued to occupy and enjoy the Palm Beach property, which is not their homestead or primary residence … without paying for such use for more than three years.” [emphasis in the original]
Carroll continues: “If the Prossers have their way, the equity in the Palm Beach Property will be fully eroded by the time the property is disposed of, leaving nothing for creditors.”
The monthly cost of these delays, which would ultimately lead to the erosion of the asset, is said to be about $41,000 a month; this includes $10,000 in insurance premiums, another $10,000 in taxes, and about $21,500 in mortgage-related payments, according to the trustee.
Not included in those figures are the steep monthly legal costs to the creditors, as they fight repeated courtroom maneuvers by the Prossers.
This part of the long-lasting courtroom drama—going on nearly five years—may be finally coming to a head.
Carroll has a bidder for the house who is willing to pay nearly $8 million for the mansion, and he has been instructed by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Judith Fitzgerald to modify the bidding procedures slightly, so that the proposed sale can go forward.
Currently Carroll has proposed a Feb. 11 auction date. At that time one of two things could happen that would upset the planned sale: either Dawn Prosser could come up with enough money to exercise what may be her right of first refusal, or some other bidder would offer more money. Then, if the trustee has his way, the court would hold a sales hearing on the matter on March 1.
However, such dates have been postponed in the past.