Government

Food distributor, well-known developer file for bankruptcy

Developer Joseph McCloskey-Diaz is among the most recent Puerto Rico residents to file for bankruptcy protection.  (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual) Developer Joseph McCloskey-Diaz is among the most recent Puerto Rico residents to file for bankruptcy protection. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Puerto Rico Food distributor Pedro Barba e Hijos Inc., Humacao drugstore owner Manuel Mediavilla Inc., and developer Joseph McCloskey-Diaz — who was involved in a highly-publicized mortgage fraud scheme in 2009 — were among the most recent commercial bankruptcy filings, with upward of $20 million in combined debt.

Pedro Barba e Hijos, Inc. a San Juan-based company that distributes rice, vegetables, codfish, tuna, conserves of seafood, garlic, peppers, among other goods, filed for Chapter 11 protection against creditors who are owed more than $7.8 million, according to information submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Juan.

The company established in 1994 listed among its bigger debts more than $4.2 million owed to Citibank, N.A., and more than $1 million to Canada’s Drummond Export Inc. In the filing submitted last week, Pedro Barba e Hijos reported a little more than $2.1 million in assets.

Meanwhile, Manuel Mediavilla Inc., the parent company of several businesses in Humacao — including a drugstore and a furniture store — is also seeking Chapter 11 protection from the court, listing nearly $2.5 million in debt. Individuals Manuel Mediavilla and Maydin Meléndez, submitted a related case citing another $3.9 million in debt, court records show.

Manuel Mediavilla Inc. owns and operates Tu Farmacia y Mas, a drugstore that has been in business in Humacao since 1990.

Rounding out the trio of major bankruptcy applications submitted in court last week is a Chapter 11 petition by McCloskey-Diaz, with a little more than $5 million in debt.

About four years ago, McCloskey was among 10 people who were indicted by a federal grand jury on criminal counts of conspiracy, mortgage fraud and money laundering related to a scheme through which luxury properties were sold in the upscale Palmas del Mar community in Humacao in exchange for kickbacks. He is also the former owner of the DoubleTree Hotel in Condado.

In February, McCloskey was sentenced to more than two years in jail.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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