By and  on November 25, 2008

Attorneys for Fred Leighton termed new claims against the high-profile jeweler by its major creditor “pernicious,” and said they were likely prompted by an earlier amended complaint.

Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital Inc. filed a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District, on Friday, citing the possibility of a Chapter 7 liquidation by the famed jeweler. Merrill said the firm could run out of operating cash by the end of the year and called for its owner, Ralph Esmerian, to be replaced by a “disinterested Chapter 11 trustee.”

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