Judge appoints receiver over VGTI

Judge appoints receiver over VGTI

judges gavel

judges gavel

judges gavel

judges gavel


Feb. 5, 2016 – On Feb. 2, St. Lucie County Circuit Judge Janet Croom ordered the appointment of Michael Imber of Alvarez & Marsal as receiver over the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida (VGTI) corporation, despite a plea from VGTI to stay the order.

The City of Port St. Lucie had been seeking appointment of a receiver since September 2015 and was formally joined in its request by the Trustee for the bondholders in January.  The court denied VGTI’s request for a stay of the Feb. 2 decision.

“The stonewalling and obstructionist tactics of VGTI came to an end on Tuesday when the court granted the motion made by the city and the trustee (TD Bank), and joined in by the State of Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, to appoint a receiver over VGTI,” said Port St. Lucie City Attorney Pam Booker.

Imber had previously been appointed as receiver over VGTI’s building and other collateral.

During the hearing, the city and trustee presented compelling evidence that a receiver over VGTI’s corporate entity was warranted due to the company’s insolvency, cessation of operations, substantial defaults under a $64 million loan, inadequacy of the collateral to cover the debt, mismanagement, and waste, among other factors.

Court documents revealed that, despite VGTI’s dire financial condition and inability to make the required debt payments under the loan, the company paid its attorneys, accountants and a document management company more than $1.4 million in 2015.  More than $900,000 of these payments were made after Aug. 15, 2015 when VGTI was already in wind-down mode.

Documents also show that while insolvent, VGTI paid almost $95,000 for liability insurance to cover its officers and directors through the year 2021.

“The receiver, as a court-appointed fiduciary, can now move forward to take steps to maximize recovery for the benefit of VGTI’s creditors and the taxpayers of Port St. Lucie, including recovery of any fraudulent transfers made by VGTI,” said Booker.

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