|By Peter Shinkle, St. Louis Post-Dispatch|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Apr. 9, 2005 - A judge has ordered developer William S. Stallings to pay $615,000 for defaulting on a lease of furnishings for his defunct WS Hotel on Washington Avenue downtown.
GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. filed a lawsuit in September 2003 to recover the money after claiming Stallings defaulted on the $1.5 million lease of furnishings and fixtures in the hotel.
The FBI began an investigation, and in March 2004 Stallings pleaded guilty of defrauding GMAC of nearly $60,000 by taking exercise equipment and other furnishings from the hotel to his home in Ladue. He spent two months in federal prison, and the hotel was sold in a foreclosure last fall.
Stallings played an integral role in starting the redevelopment of the Chase Park Plaza h otel in the Central West End. He was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud in 2000 for another real estate deal.
In a memorandum issued Monday in the civil case over the lease, U.S. District Judge Richard Webber ruled that Stallings, along with his affiliated companies W.S. Stallings Corp. and Fourth and Washington LLC, owe GMAC $615,138. He ruled that all counterclaims by Stallings and the corporate defendants were without merit.
"GMAC is obviously very pleased with the result," said Richard Huck, a lawyer for the leasing company. Stallings and his lawyer couldn't be reached for comment.
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