NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sears Holdings Corp sued longtime Chairman Eddie Lampert, his hedge fund ESL Investments, and former directors including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, accusing them of allowing the retailer to be looted of billions of dollars before its October 2018 bankruptcy.
The lawsuit, made public on Thursday, was filed by the restructuring team winding down what remains of the pre-bankruptcy Sears following Lampert’s $5.2 billion purchase in February of most of its assets.
Sears accused Lampert of ordering the creation of bogus financial plans showing the retailer would turn itself around even as it racked up huge losses, enabling the transfer of five major assets including Land’s End and Sears Hometown Outlet for his benefit.
“Had defendants not taken these improper and illegal actions, Sears would have had billions of dollars more to pay its third-party creditors today and would not have endured the amount of disruption, expense, and job losses resulting from its recent bankruptcy filing,” the complaint said.
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