A creditor claims that a bankrupt Monsey insurance broker is concealing millions of dollars in assets in religious organizations and businesses to avoid paying his debts.
Judith Gluck, also of Monsey, sued Samuel Ehrenthal in federal bankruptcy court on March 27.
Ehrenthal “failed to accurately disclose, and therefore concealed, his property,” the complaint states, “with the intent to hinder, delay or defraud a creditor … and the court.”
Ehrenthal and his bankruptcy attorney, Kevin J. Nash, did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages asking for his side of the story.
Ehrenthal filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in December, declaring $1.8 million in assets and nearly $14.6 million in liabilities.
His assets are composed mostly of his house on Highview Road in Monsey that is valued at $1.2 million. He listed $543,631 in retirement funds, four parcels of land in New York and Pennsylvania worth $37,200, $200 in a checking account and $200 in a brokerage account.
Liabilities include $3 million to the IRS, $2.4 million to a Brooklyn woman, $2.3 million to Gluck, characterized as disputed, and $2 million to a resident of Canada.
He declared $240,000 in interest and dividends from businesses in 2019, but no salary.
Besides the insurance agency, Insured on Time Services Inc. in Spring Valley, he lists ownership of 217 40th Street LC, a financial advisory, 22 South Madison LLC, a real estate holding company that filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in 2018, and two non-operating companies.
Gluck claims Ehrenthal omitted several businesses and bank accounts.
She represents the estate of her late husband, Yitzchok Gluck, who paid Ehrenthal $600,000 in 2007 to build two apartments within three years, according to a rabbinical court record. The apartments were not completed on time, and in 2016 the rabbinical court awarded the Gluck estate $1.6 million, including $1 million for the value of the apartments.
Ehrenthal did not pay the judgment, Rockland Supreme Court Justice David S. Zuckerman found in 2017, in confirming the $1.6 million rabbinical court obligation.
Gluck claims Ehrenthal owns two condominiums on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan through EEA Sterling Fund Ltd.
He bought the condos for $1.7 million in 2007. Then in December 2017, four days after Zuckerman confirmed the rabbinical court award, he transferred title to the condos, then appraised at more than $2 million, to EEA for $35,000.
Property documents were signed for EEA by a man Gluck claims is a “strawman” for conducting Ehrenthal’s businesses.”
“There is no way that Ehrenthal’s transfer to EEA of title to the two condominium units for $20,000 and $15,000 was anywhere near fair value,” Gluck’s attorney, Joseph A. Churgin, of Nanuet, stated in a March 6 bankruptcy court filing.
EEA and the condominiums are not listed as assets on Ehrenthal’s bankruptcy schedules.
Gluck also claims that Sixteen Park Realty LLC bought a property in Pomona for $925,000 in 2016. The company is registered to Ehrenthal’s home address, but neither the Pomona property nor the company are listed in the bankruptcy case.
Gluck accuses Ehrenthal of controlling bank accounts for several religious organizations – in at least one instance, without the knowledge of the rabbi – to hide income, pay personal expenses and transfer funds between entities. They include Monsey congregations Khal Beis Usher, Ahavas Chaverim and Nachlas Moshe.
None of the bank account assets are listed in the bankruptcy records.
Gluck argues that Ehrenthal should not be allowed to discharge his debts in bankruptcy, because he has committed fraud by concealing assets.
Besides Churgin, she is represented by Joseph J. Haspel, of Goshen.