A legal battle has begun in New York court over ownership of the USS Sequoia, the 104-foot yacht built in 1925 that has served as a presidential yacht to U.S. presidents in the middle of the last century.
At issue is a $5 million loan the owners of the yacht, Sequoia Presidential Yacht Group, took in July to pay debts, operate the vessel and initiate repairs. The group says it only received about half the loan amount from FE Partners, which put it in further financial trouble.
If the group defaults on the loan — which FE Partners says it has — the latter can take steps to buy the yacht at a deep discount of its market price, according to news reports from Courthouse News Service and The Washington Examiner.
Though based in Washington, D.C., the owners of FE Partners are mining and media businessmen in India, giving the yacht’s owner opportunity to declare the move to acquire the yacht a “dastardly plan”.
Sequoia Presidential Yacht Group’s owner, Washington, D.C.-based attorney Gary Silversmith, has sued FE Partners in New York County for defaulting on the loan agreements by only providing half.
FE Partners said it plans to defend itself and pursue its “bargained-for rights”. Court hearings were scheduled for mid-January but no news had been released by press time.
The yacht remains moored in Washington.