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Ex-Southmark chiefs attempt to discredit bankruptcy report
To stem a tide of litigation threatening their $1 billion real estate empire, former Southmark Corp. executives Gene Phillips and Bill Friedman have launched legal maneuvers they believe will discredit lawsuits questioning their management of the bankrupt company.
The moves come amidst attempts by Southmark's creditors and investors to take from the executives control of five real estate investment trusts and a master limited partnership. Phillips and Friedman run the companies -- which they retained when Southmark's board forced them to resign two years ago -- through National Realty Advisors, a firm they own.
In settling one motion, filed by Southmark Feb. 5, Phillips and Friedman forestalled the company's attempts to remove the executives from control of two of the six companies -- and won a pledge from Southmark that the company would not assist others who have suits pending against the men.
Meanwhile, Phillips and …