Listing debts that are more than three times as great as its assets, an Orange County airplane and limousine leasing company has gone out of business, filing a bankruptcy petition in the Santa Ana branch of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The petition for A.O. Skyways Inc. and its Skyway Limousine service, filed under Chapter 7 of the federal Bankruptcy Code, lists debts of $599,623, all but about $14,000 unsecured, and assets of $165,375.
Owned and operated by Gary Ziebarth of El Toro, Skyways rented airplanes and limousines out of offices at John Wayne Airport for at least 4 1/2 years. Ziebarth could not be reached for comment.
Skyways is involved in seven lawsuits, including its defense of a $250,000 claim of negligence in the operation of a leased airplane.
The Feb. 1 bankruptcy filing also alleges that a former employee converted funds to his own use. The petition claims the employee sold a $38,000 limousine for $25,000 and kept the money and that he took checks totaling $13,593 and opened a separate bank account for himself.
According to the petition, the former employee claims a 40% ownership in the firm, but Ziebarth listed himself as sole owner of all shares in the corporation.
Newport Beach attorney Laura A. Meyers, who with her firm, Walker & Kendrick, is handling the bankruptcy for Zeibarth, declined to comment on the case.