Ralph Packer, Dorothy Packer, and R.M. Packer Co. are defendants in a Dukes County Superior Court lawsuit that alleges real estate was transferred to avoid costs associated with the outcome of a federal lawsuit and to avoid EPA fines. Also named in the suit are the Packer’s grandchildren, Vineyard Wind, and Tisbury Marine.
In order to stymie creditors, the suit claims $1 sales of real estate on Northern Pines Road, Lambert’s Cove Road, and Chappaquonsett Road were made to the Packer’s grandchildren, and a $1 sale of real estate on Beach Road was made to Tisbury Marine. Specifically, the suit claims that the real estate transfers harm a group of R.M. Packer employees who in 2020 successfully sued to get $1.6 million in pension money they were owed. The suit also claims the transfers came as R.M. Packer faced a $1 million EPA fine; however, the EPA is not a litigant in the case.
The suit asserts the $1.6 million in federal judgments in favor of Packer employees occurred on Sept. 15, 2020. The judgments included a 12 percent annual interest rate, according to the suit. Executions (judicial orders that the judgments be enforced) were issued on August 5, 2021, and Sept. 15, 2021, according to the suit, on behalf of federal plaintiffs Patricia Spring, Anthony Ferreria, David Cartier, Donald Macfarland, Edward Herrmann, Elisha Boyd, Nicholas Butler, Harold Lawry, James Moreis Jr., Jessie Law III, Mark Leith, Matthew Wilkins, Patricia Law, Peter Hoffman, Robert Bailey, Robert Goulart, Robert Olcott, Ronald Klein, Sharon Coogan, Theodore Kram, and Timothy Marvo.
Properties on Chappaquonsett Road, Lambert’s Cove Road, and Northern Pines Road each have $1,602,155 liens on them associated with the lawsuit, according to information published in Banker and Tradesman.
The suit alleges that on August 26, 2021, weeks after the initial issuance of the executions, Ralph Packer conveyed a property on Chappaquonsett Road for $1. On Dec 2, 2021, the suit alleges a similar transfer occurred for a Lambert’s Cove property. On Dec. 28, Ralph Packer was subpoenaed “seeking documents and testimony regarding his assets,” the suit states. The next day, the suit alleges, Ralph Packer conveyed a property on Northern Pines Road to his grandchildren for $1.
On Jan. 21, 2022, R.M. Packer Co. allegedly transferred Beach Road property to “Tisbury Marine” for $1, and at some point leased it to Vineyard Wind. The suit alleges Tisbury Marine is Packer’s “alter ego.”
Around April 15, 2022, Ralph Packer made a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs, the suit claims, that included a payment plan.
“The first payment was due June 1, 2022, which Ralph Packer and Packer Co. failed to pay in full, in breach of the agreement, and rendering the full amount of the Judgements due with interest and costs of collection,” the suit states.
The lawsuit is broken into four counts. The first two allege fraudulent transfers — specifically that the conveyance of real estate was “made with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud” creditors. They also allege that the Packers were “insolvent” at the time the real estate was conveyed, and the conveyance of that real estate did not include “reasonably equivalent” compensation. The third count alleges Tisbury Marine is just another name for Packer assets. The fourth count, “Reach and Apply,” alleges creditors are entitled to proceeds from a Vineyard Wind lease of real estate done through Tisbury Marine.
Ralph Packer couldn’t be reached following several calls and two visits to his office.
Reached on the steps of the Dukes County Superior Courthouse on Oct. 26, Ted Saulnier, attorney for the Packers, had little to say about the case except that a motion to dismiss he’d filed was just denied by Judge Janet Sanders. Nicholas Rosenberg, attorney for the plaintiffs, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.