Luminati cofounder and CEO Daniel Preston inside Plant Six in March 2017. File photo: Denise Civiletti

A German company that sold a $147,000 embroidery machine to Luminati Aerospace has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the Calverton company failed to make nearly $100,000 in payments owed and seeking a money judgment and recovery of the machinery.

ZSK Stickmaschinen GMBH of Krefeld, Germany brought an action in U.S. District Court April 10, complaining that Luminati Aerospace failed to make seven of the eight quarterly payments of $13,000 each due under an Aug. 16. 2016 contract of sale. Luminati currently owes $91,000, plus interest under the sale contract, according to the complaint. It also owes
the German company €7,600 (roughly $8,500 USD) in training fees and travel expenses on the use of the machinery, the complaint alleges.

ZSK says in court documents its contract with Luminati prohibited the Calverton company from moving the machinery from its facility at 350 Burman Boulevard — the Plant Six building Luminati leased from Laoudis of Calverton — without prior written consent of the seller.

The complaint says based upon “apparent representations” by Luminati’s attorney, Luminati has “relocated and/or removed Plaintiff’s machine from the premises…without permission or authority from the Plaintiff.”

The ZSK lawsuit was first reported yesterday by the News-Review.

As previously reported, Luminati’s landlord at 350 Burman Boulevard brought an eviction proceeding for nonpayment of rent, seeking recovery of the 35,000-square-foot premises leased to Luminati Aerospace. That action was settled by Luminati’s agreement to surrender the premises, according to Luminati’s attorney in the eviction proceeding, Jonathan Brown.

Hexcel Corporation, which made a $10 million loan to the Calverton aviation startup, last month brought a $12.5 million lawsuit in State Supreme Court, alleging default on a May 2016 promissory note. Hexcel seeks seizure of Luminati’s machinery, equipment and inventory located at both 350 Burman Boulevard and 400 David Court, the former Skydive Long Island site purchased by a Luminati subsidiary LLC in September 2015.

Citing Luminati’s mounting legal troubles, including the $12.5 million Hexcel lawsuit, ZSK says in the complaint that Luminati is or will likely become insolvent by the time final judgment is entered against it.

“Consequently, the Plaintiff will sustain irreparable harm if Defendant LUMINATI is not enjoined form selling, transferring possession, altering, damaging, and/or otherwise disposing of the machine at issue,” the complaint says.

The federal lawsuit is the latest in a string of legal and financial woes faced by the Calverton company whose founder pledged to bring hundreds of jobs to the enterprise park and return the “glory days” of aviation manufacturing to Long Island. Riverhead Town records show Luminati owes the town $22,820 in past-due false alarm fees and more than $16,590 in past-due runway lease payments. Its subsidiary, 400 David Court LLC, which holds title to the former Skydive Long Island Site, owes $23,465 in past-due property taxes.

Luminati Aerospace is also the defendant in a pending lawsuit brought in New York County in November 2017 by an investigations firm it hired. T&M Protection Resources says in its complaint Luminati hired the firm in November 2015 to investigate an undisclosed business entity. T&M says Luminati owes more than $35,000 for services rendered by the firm in 2016. Luminati failed to appear or answer the complaint and T&M is now seeking a default judgment. Its October 2018 motion for a default judgment went unanswered and a court decision is pending.

Luminati is a principal in Calverton Aviation and Technology, which is in contract to buy 1,644 acres of vacant land at the Calverton Enterprise Park from the Riverhead Community Development Agency. Luminati has a central role in the development plan that’s part of the contract of sale. Town officials are seeking the advice of new outside legal counsel to determine what Luminati’s legal troubles may mean for the sale to Calverton Aviation and Technology.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.