Judge orders asset freeze for shopping-center owner accused in SEC fraud case

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The phone number on this sign belongs to ArciTerra’s former director of leasing, Jeremy Hamilton, who says he grew up with ArciTerra founder Jonathan Larmore in Fort Wayne and attended college with him at Indiana University. Hamilton says he hasn’t been associated with ArciTerra since January 2022 but still regularly receives calls—some from people interested in leasing space at a shopping center, some from people with complaints about property maintenance. (IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against Arizona-based real estate company ArciTerra Cos. LLC and its founder, Indiana native Jonathan Moynahan Larmore, who are facing federal fraud allegations.

ArciTerra’s holdings include scores of retail centers across the United States, including five in Indianapolis, one each in Noblesville and Plainfield, and eight others in northern Indiana.

In federal court in Arizona on Nov. 28, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Larmore, ArciTerra Cos. and several other entities. The SEC’s complaint accuses the defendants of misappropriating more than $35 million from funds ArciTerra managed, and it accuses Larmore of using much of that money to fund “his lavish lifestyle of private jets, yachts and expensive residences” in Arizona, Indiana and Florida.

The newest developments in that case happened Thursday, when a federal judge in Arizona ordered a temporary freeze on more than two dozen bank accounts, brokerage accounts and other Larmore assets.

In that same order, the judge also appointed Allen Applbaum as receiver for ArciTerra’s properties, giving him the power to collect rent, pay expenses and conduct other business on behalf of the centers. (The order does not include information about Applbaum’s credentials or where he works.)

The Indianapolis-area centers and certain other centers around the U.S. are excluded because they already had local receivers in place, but Applbaum will have oversight over those receivers, the judge’s order says.

The Indianapolis shopping centers are Michigan Road Shops, Castleton Square (not Castleton Square Mall), Castleton Commons, the Echelon Building and Westgate Plaza. Those sites are under the control of receiver Martha Lehman, an Indianapolis attorney for Amundsen Davis LLC.

The other area shopping centers are Noble West Shoppes in Noblesville and Plainfield Village in Plainfield, also controlled by Lehman.

The judge’s order also stays existing and future civil litigation in the matter, including bankruptcy, arbitration, foreclosure, or default. The stay does not include several of the pending ArciTerra cases in Indiana state and federal courts, but it does include 25 other pending cases in Indiana and around the country.

In a second order, the judge also issued a temporary restraining order against Larmore, ArciTerra Cos. LLC and three other related LLCs that were named as defendants in the SEC’s civil complaint. The judge’s ruling orders those defendants not to engage in future acts of fraud, deception or manipulation; and to refrain from destroying, altering or concealing any documents, books and records relating to the allegations against them.

Larmore’s legal defense team in the SEC case is from Dickinson Wright PLLC, a Detroit-based law firm with offices around the U.S. and in Canada.

Attorney Jacob Frenkel, who chairs that firm’s government investigations and securities enforcement practice, told IBJ via email last week that “we intend to contest the allegations vigorously throughout this likely multi-year legal process.”

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One thought on “Judge orders asset freeze for shopping-center owner accused in SEC fraud case

  1. Sounds very similar to the guy who lived the “high life” in his mansion up in Geist. He was later the subject of an episode of “American Greed”.

    Do these people not think that eventually it will all come crashing down?

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