First Bank and Trust files suit against Spinosa

First Bank and Trust files suit against Spinosa

First Bank and Trust is suing developer Tommy Spinosa for transferring his ownership shares in more than a dozen limited liability corporations and pieces of Gulf Coast property to a trust he and his ex-wife established prior to their divorce in 2000.

Attorneys for First Bank and Trust declined to comment on the suit. Spinosa says he has not seen it, but adds he got a courtesy call from First Bank and Trust about it and believes it will be resolved out of court.

"I've had a good working relationship with them for years, so I'm not really concerned about it and I don't think it's an adversarial move on their part," Spinosa says. "We've worked closely and resolved a lot of issues, but we still have some left to resolve and I believe we will."

The suit suggests Spinosa moved his assets to make it more difficult for the bank to collect the $4.36 million he still owes on a $10 million loan it made to him for his Perkins Rowe development. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges Spinosa transferred his interest in 12 LLCs—as well as several pieces of property in Grand Isle, Leesville, Magnolia Ridge and Gulf Shores, Ala.—in March 2011 to the Spinosa Class Trust.

Those assets were not listed as collateral on the $10 million loan, but were "inducements" that Spinosa made to First Bank when he was seeking the loan in April 2008, according to the suit.

The suit goes on to say that by transferring his ownership shares in those assets Spinosa has allegedly "caused or (increased) his insolvency resulting in harm to FBT."

The court documents do not detail the extent to which the developer is allegedly insolvent, but the legal definition of insolvency is when the total of a debtor's liabilities exceeds the total of his fairly appraised assets. The suit was filed earlier this week in the 19th Judicial District.

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