Molinaro Koger Inc., a Vienna, Va.-based international hotel broker facing a slew of lawsuits from former clients this summer, was hit with two new suits in Virginia federal court last week over the return of money placed in escrow with the company.
The two lawsuits, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, are the latest in a string of cases filed against Molinaro Koger and its president, Robert Koger, in state and federal courts in Virginia and Maryland.
Baywood Hotels Inc., a Greenbelt, Md.-based hotel development company, filed suit (PDF) against Koger and his company on July 20. Baywood wants Koger to return $500,000 placed in escrow as part of a potential hotel purchase deal. The deal never happened, according to the complaint, and Baywood claims it has repeatedly asked for the money back to no avail since May.
New York-based Y.G.S. Properties LLC filed suit (PDF) against Koger and the company on July 21, accusing Koger of failing to give back $1 million placed in escrow after Y.G.S. Properties demanded its return on July 1.
Koger and his attorney, Wiltshire & Grannis partner Charles Kimmett, did not return requests for comment. Baywood is being represented by Kevin Mottley of Richmond and Y.G.S. is being represented by Edward MacMahon of Middleburg, Va.
To date, at least four other lawsuits have been filed lodging similar escrow-related accusations against Koger, but one of those suits was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff on Monday. The plaintiff in that case, Commercial Property Finance B.V., stated in a filing (PDF) that Koger had returned the $1 million in question.
In addition to the escrow suits, Host Hotels & Resorts Inc., one of the largest hotel owners in the United States, is also suing Molinaro Koger on allegations that the broker carried out a complex hotel flipping scheme that cost Host Hotels millions. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom partner Michele Roberts is lead counsel for Host Hotels.