Full Steam Ahead for Presidential Yacht Sale
(CN) - A company that loaned money to the owner of a former presidential yacht should be allowed to exercise its option to buy the boat, a Delaware judge ruled.
FE Partners, a Washington-based financial group, had made the loan and later sought to exercise its option to buy the Sequoia from Sequoia Presidential Yacht Group LLC and Gary Silversmith, owners of the vessel that served presidents dating back to Herbert Hoover.
The litigation included allegations against Sequoia of witness intimidation and evidence destruction. A judge ruled last month that the allegations did not have to stay confidential.
Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III threw out Sequoia's lawsuit entirely Thursday, stating that Sequoia used a fabricated letter from Russian oil company Gazprom to induce FE Partners into the loan agreement.
The letter stated that the Gazprom CEO wanted to buy the yacht for $20 million. Silversmith told the Washington Post that he did not know the Gazprom letter was not valid.
Glasscock wrote that the parties agreed on a default judgment in favor of FE Partners "for fabrication of evidence, alteration of evidence, destruction of evidence and witness intimidation," after removing sanctions against Sequoia's attorneys from the motion.
The Associated Press reported , however, that Glasscock is considering whether to seek sanctions against Sequoia's New York counsel.
Glasscock declared that FE Partners could buy the Sequoia for $7.8 million minus attorneys' fees, costs and taxes.
The Sequoia is available to be rented for tours, according to its website , which touts the yacht as having served a dozen presidents.