PALM BEACH — At a time when The Palm Beach Post deemed local billionaire Jeff Greene “the next Henry Flagler“ for his $250 million-land buying spree, two local contractors have started foreclosure actions against his posh Palm Beach house.
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The plaintiffs are among a number of contractors and subcontractors who claim Greene has yet to pay them in full for work on the two-year remodeling of 1200 S. Ocean Boulevard.
Greene, 59, No. 235 in Forbes‘ list of the 400 richestAmericans, hired a Miami lawyer to review the hundreds of invoices issued on the multi-million dollar reconstruction.
That attorney, Stuart Grossman, has been going back and forth with some of the contractors. He says the unhappy ones are just “a minuscule” fraction of those who worked on the project who were made whole.
“Any subcontractors that have not been paid are, among other things, the subject of disputed billing, inadequate workmanship, and/or failure to follow the contractual terms,” Grossman wrote in an email.
Electric contractor Lewis H. Green & Associates filed a foreclosure lawsuit that claims that $72,052 of its $1.5 million-contract signed in 2011 have yet to be paid.
And Roofing Unlimited filed for foreclosure in March, claiming it’s owed $77,128 from the $438,023-job.
West Palm Beach attorney Michael Monchick, who reps Lewis H. Green, said he’s never seen anything like what Greene is doing in 40 years of construction law.
“It could be a case of economic coercion,” Monchick said. “I bet he (Greene) has been successful at lowering some of the bills by using this technique, so he figures he’ll give it a try. Until someone kicks back.”