Joseph Spiezio and two of his companies have been ordered to pay a Connecticut company $2.3 million for taking over its business without compensation.
Westchester Supreme Court Justice Terry Jane Ruderman entered the judgment July 15 in favor of Can Man Carting LLC of Norwalk and Andris Kurins of Westport.
“There is no dispute that Spiezio actually took over the operations of Can Man Carting, including possession of its assets,” Ruderman wrote in a May 13 decision, following a two-week trial. “However, rather than holding a closing at which the transaction would be formally accomplished, he obtained the entirety of the Can Man assets without paying or turning over most of the agreed-on consideration.”
Spiezio made a deal to buy Can Man for $2,350,000, payable over six years by JLS Waste Services of Nevada Corp., a company he owned, controlled and specifically created for the transaction.
But Spiezio cancelled the January 2013 closing over concerns about Can Man’s delinquent tax obligations. He struck a new deal for JLS to buy Can Man’s assets, but not the business itself, also for $2,350,000.
Spiezio promised to formalize the deal, according to Kurins’ lawsuit, “though he always found an excuse not to execute it.”
By Feb. 1, 2013, Spiezio was in control of the business. Then he transferred Can Man Carting assets to a new entity, Can Man Sanitation, and dissolved JLS Waste Services.
He made monthly payments for a year, totaling $171,642. But in April 2014, the last check bounced. Kurins, unaware that JLS had been dissolved, sent a notice of default to the entity he thought bought his assets.
Spiezio rejected the default notice, and Kurins sued, accusing him of breach of an oral contract, fraud and unjust enrichment.
Ruderman ruled that Kurins and two business partners, Fior Lostumbo and Anthony Passaniti, were credible witnesses. Spiezio and his wife, Louise, titular head of several family businesses, were not credible.
“The evidence showed that he manipulated and used the businesses he owns and controls in a manner intended to purposefully obfuscate the identity of its corporate actors,” she wrote.
She ruled that Spiezio was personally liable for judgments against his companies.
“There was ample evidence that Spiezio abused the privilege of doing business in the corporate form,” she said, “so as to perpetrate a wrong against the plaintiffs.”
Ruderman ordered Spiezio and his companies to pay $1,733,221 to Kurins and $601,058 to Can Man Carting.
In February, Spiezio filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for one of his many companies, Waste Services Inc. of Mamaroneck. He declared $5 million in assets and $7.6 million in liabilities.
In June, SGFH Realty Inc., operated by his wife, Louise, sold the Waste Services yard at 275 Washington St. in Mount Vernon for $9.1 million and a nearby parcel for $250,000.