A New Rochelle real estate developer has allegedly refused to return a $255,086 claims check that an insurance company mistakenly sent as a duplicate payment for property damages.
Colony Insurance Co. of Richmond, Virginia, sued 423-425 Wilmot LLC on May 7 in U.S. District Court in White Plains, seeking return of the payment.
“Wilmot was unjustly enriched by cashing and retaining the duplicative payment made by Colony,” the complaint states, and “Colony has a right to the funds.”
Efforts to find contact information for Wilmot, to ask for its side of the story, failed.
Wilmot was formed in 2013, according to state corporation records, and appears to be affiliated with MBR Realty Holdings LLC, in Lawrence, Nassau County. Barry Septimus and Philip Septimus are listed on county property records as Wilmot’s and MBR’s managers.
Wilmot has been developing a three-lot subdivision on Wilmot Road since at least 2015, New Rochelle Planning Board records indicate.
In 2017, Colony issued the developer a $900,000 insurance policy on a vacant building at 425 Wilmot Road.
On January 20, 2018, a pipe broke on the top floor, according to the complaint, causing damages to the floors below.
Wilmot’s public adjuster, Michael Roth, notified Colony and submitted proof of $568,921 in losses.
Colony disagreed with the calculation and agreed to pay $255,086. The check was issued on April 26, 2018, and another check for the same amount was issued the following day.
Colony advised Roth of the mistake and told him not to cash the second check, according to the complaint, but on May 2, 2018, Wilmot cashed both checks.
Four times over a 15-month period, Colony claims, Wilmot did not respond to formal demands for return of the duplicate payment, for an examination under oath and for an appraisal.
Colony accuses Wilmot of unjust enrichment, conversion of funds and breach of contract for refusing to abide by its obligations of the insurance policy.
The insurer is represented by West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania attorney William F. Stewart.