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Developer Simao to file $15 million lawsuit against DealMaker accountant Bonadio

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Alexandria Bay developer P.J. Simao plans to file a complaint today in state Supreme Court seeking $15 million in damages from Bonadio & Co. LP, Pittsford, the accounting firm that handled the books for DealMaker Auto Group LLC and 14 other companies owned by Mr. Simao.

The complaint, alleging fraud and breach of contract, will be filed at the Jefferson County clerk’s office, according to Mr. Simao.

“I believe that Bonadio deceived me and subordinated my interests to their own,” Mr. Simao said Tuesday. “They had a duty and an obligation to discharge their professional responsibilities with competence and diligence, and they failed that responsibility.”

According to the complaint, Bonadio, the firm retained to help unwind DealMaker’s assets during forbearance proceedings with HSBC bank, had a conflict of interest in that it was working for HSBC while acting as the primary firm accountant for Mr. Simao.

In addition, Mr. Simao claims that instead of providing competent workers, Bonadio sent interns or temporary workers to monitor operations at DealMaker, while at the same time actively discouraging the workers from revealing their employment status.

According to the complaint, employees of Bonadio were paid approximately $500,000 by Mr. Simao for their services.

In addition to fraud, breach of contract and conflict of interest, the complaint will allege breach of fiduciary duty, accounting malpractice and violation of general business law.

Mr. Simao and his attorney, David A. Johns, Pultneyville, are seeking a $15 million judgment against Bonadio.

Bonadio will have 20 days to answer the complaint after being served, according to state law.

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