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The New York Post reports that US Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain told ESL Investments, the hedge fund owned by Eddie Lampert that acquired Sears and Kmart out of bankruptcy last month for $5.2 billion, that he “strongly” advised it to pay the old Sears $35 million for which he is contractually on the hook.

In this “contentious financial dispute,” according to the story, “Drain seemed to side with Sears, which says Lampert’s ESL swiped tens of millions from its coffers in the days before it closed on a $5.2 billion deal to create a new, smaller Sears chain with 425 stores. The judge warned that if ESL does not return the funds — about $14.6 million in credit card receivables and $18.5 million in cash — that it could be in violation of an automatic stay and liable for damages.”

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for April 18.
KC's View:
I don’t know about you, but I’m shocked - shocked, I say - that Lampert and his hedge fund could be accused of trying to rip off the entity from which he was acquiring an entity that he seemed to do his level best to destroy why he owned and ran it.

I’ve been arguing for a while that it strikes me as inconceivable that anyone - including vendors and banks and landlords - would want to do business with this guy. This story does nothing to persuade me that I’m wrong about that.