The aim: force Robins to continue paying half the debt on the plane while Colombo kept it for his sole use.
Jackie Soffer swore in an affidavit that Colombo was panicked when he learned Turnberry was quashing their lawsuit.
Ugo told me that if we settled the lawsuit we were not his friends we were his enemy, she said. During one of these conversations, Ugo changed the subject and asked whether I was worried about unpaid contractors at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach physically hurting my brother, Jeff.
Further, Turnberry alleged the architect of Colombos secret prosecution, was Burstyn, formerly a prominent criminal defense lawyer and business partner of Colombos. Burstyn went to federal prison in 2006 after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice for aiding a marijuana smuggling ring, and he permanently resigned from The Florida Bar.
Invoices from Turnberrys hired representation Kluger Kaplan showed Burstyn had made at least a dozen appearances on conference calls and reviews. Emails turned over as part of the settlement with Robins also showed correspondence from Burstyn.
Colombo denies the allegations, said Robinson. His attorneys have argued that Burstyn doesnt practice law for Colombo, but rather is a trusted advisor who is involved in risk management and assists CMC in dealing with lawyers and firms. And while Colombo acknowledges discussing buying out Robins half of the plane, he says there was no signed agreement.
Colombos attorneys also said Jackie Soffer was now chiming in because she was dating Robins, who they said was in bed with Turnberry.
We believe this is all just a sideshow and shows desperation from the other side, Robinson said.
In 2011, with litigation still running strong, Robins stopped paying his debt payments on the jet to Bank of America.
With the loan now in default, Colombo signed a forbearance agreement to sell the jet by the end of the year. But that didnt happen, and Bank of America sued Colombo. In March, Colombos CFO took UC Challenger LLC into bankruptcy court.
With the jets value plummeting to $12. 6 million, Colombos attorneys argue their client had no other choice but to sell it through bankruptcy. They said Robins had not only stopped paying his loan, but also refused to agree to any sale of the jet, as required.
Not so, said Robins, who argued that Colombo took the company into bankruptcy in order to halt their litigation in state court.
In an opening statement last week, Robins attorney, Dennis Richard, said Colombo turned down multiple offers in the $10 million range that had received a nod from Robins. He said Colombo then tried to sell the jet for $8 million to his own company through a court-approved broker.
Richard cited emails and letters between the broker of the sale, Bank of America representatives and Colombos CFO, Art Murphy. A second forbearance agreement between Robins and the bank after bankruptcy proceedings began also shows he cured his defaults on the jet loan.
In the meantime, Robins now says Colombo is now unsuccessfully going after his $300 million design district development in court.
Ugo made it clear hed continue to pester me with these nonsense lawsuits in the design district unless I agreed to sell him the airplane at a substantial discount, he told The Herald.
And Turnberry and Colombo have been at odds over his attempts to win a $1 billion Miami Beach convention center redevelopment, though a Turnberry attorney said the opposition to the project is completely unrelated to the plane litigation.
As for the jet, it remains unsold. Bankruptcy proceedings are ongoing and the state court case is going to trial on September 30.
Said Richard: Judgment day is coming.