Aircraft buyer seeks $3 million from bank and appraiser

Carol Ostrow Mar. 30, 2015, 12:50pm

A Chicago doctor has sued a bank and an independent appraiser, alleging fraud involving the financing of a private aircraft.

Dr. Paul C. Madison of Chicago field a lawsuit March 9 in Cook County Circuit Court against Castle Bank NA, a subsidiary of First National Bank of Nebraska, and Phillip D. Casciola, alleging fraud.

According to the complaint, Madison planned to purchase a Hawker 600A aircraft in 2000 and Castle Bank agreed to loan the plaintiff $1.25 million to finance the transaction and take a security interest in the plane as collateral. After Castle Bank obtained two appraisals of the aircraft, including one from defendant Casciola, the suit states, Madison believed the loan to be fully secured and paid the defendant approximately $1 million in principal and interest over the next decade.

Castle Bank refinanced the balance of the loan for $642,351.60, in March 2009, the suit states, and Castle Bank implied the plane’s value was sufficient to satisfy the loan and the appraisals were accurate. According to the complaint, Castle Bank made false statements, the appraiser Casciola was in prison for fraud and the craft’s value was actually insufficient to satisfy the loan.

Madison informed Castle Bank he would be unable to continue payments in 2009, according to the filing, and Castle Bank then concealed its fraud, declining to seize the craft until late 2011, when it took possession of the plane and declared it worthless.

The suit alleges the defendant’s willful act of fraud rendered Madison insolvent, forced him to file bankruptcy, and interfered with his medical practice.

Madison seeks damages in excess of $3 million plus attorney fees and costs. He is represented by attorney William J. Stevens of Bridgman, Mich.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 15-L-2381.

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