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KHASHOGGIS WANT $32 MILLION FROM TRIAD SETTLEMENT

SHARE KHASHOGGIS WANT $32 MILLION FROM TRIAD SETTLEMENT

Adnan Khashoggi wants his $32 million back.

In a startling twist of events, Adnan and Essam Khashoggi have each filed papers in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah protesting a $2.5 million payment to Triad creditors scheduled for Dec. 31.The money would come from a $32 million payment Adnan made to the Triad estate in October 1988. Attorneys for the brothers are expected to appear at a hearing in Salt Lake City Thursday to persuade the court to block any further payments to Triad creditors until a dispute over the settlement between the brothers and Triad America Trustee R. Todd Neilson can be resolved.

In papers filed Monday, Essam claims Neilson has either violated the terms of the 1988 settlement with the Khashoggis, or the settlement was based on a mistake of fact.

If the settlement was based on a mistake of fact, Essam demands full repayment of the $32 million plus interest. Adnan has filed papers in support of Essam's accusations against Neilson, including the demand for the $32 million.

"I'd say we are definitely eyeball to eyeball," Neilson said of the conflict between him and the Khashoggis.

The trouble began in August when Neilson filed $28 million in suits against several banks that received payments totaling that amount from Triad America coffers while the company was insolvent.

The payments were used to pay off debts incurred by the Khashoggis and their other companies. They did not cover debts incurred by Triad America, the Salt Lake-based holding company for Adnan's U.S. assets.

The brothers are fearful Neilson may win his suits against the banks. The banks, in turn, would probably sue the Khashoggi brothers for the $28 million.

That, the brothers say, would violate their settlement with Neilson.

The brothers claim they paid Neilson $32 million with the understanding that such payment ends any obligations they had to Triad America or its creditors.

The intended effect of the agreement, they say, was to bar all suits against the brothers stemming from Triad America.

But by filing the $28 million in suits against the banks, the brothers claim, Neilson has left them vulnerable to similar suits from the banks, thus violating the terms of their agreement.

Neilson doesn't see it that way. He said he has filed several suits to get back money Triad America paid to creditors shortly before going bankrupt. The settlement he made with the Khashoggis never precluded such legal actions.

Under Utah bankruptcy law, money paid to creditors within three years before a company's bankruptcy can be reclaimed by the trustee and later redistributed evenly to all creditors.

Neilson will meet with Khashoggis' lawyers Thursday morning in an eleventh-hour attempt to negotiate the problem before going into court that afternoon, but he isn't optimistic about the outcome.

"I don't believe we will resolve it," he said. He blames the trouble on Essam.

"The primary difference between this negotiation and the negotiation to obtain $32 million is that Essam is in charge of this one," he said.

"That makes a tremendous difference. I found Adnan's representatives to be very reasonable. But Essam is in control of this matter, and I consider him to be unreasonable."

Nielson isn't sure why the power has swung from Adnan to Essam. Adnan's morass of legal troubles with the U.S. government could account for his new submissiveness to his younger brother.

Essam has asked the court to determine whether the settlement prohibits Neilson's suits. If it does not, Essam wants to rescind the agreement and get the $32 million back.

Neilson has already paid $6 million to Triad America creditors from the estate. He plans to ultimately distribute $36 million.