Matt Lile Sues Universal Fidelity Over Trashed Office Suite

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014 11:38 am  

J. Matt Lile III

Businessman and chef John Mathis “Matt” Lile III is suing a former tenant of a building in Little Rock that he used to own.

Why? According to a suit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court, the tenant — an agency of Universal Fidelity Life Insurance Co. Inc. of Duncan, Okla. — never paid for its furniture or rent and trashed the place to boot.

Universal started renting a suite in the space in 2009, the suit stated. It agreed to buy $10,000 of furniture from one of Lile’s companies and pay $2,950 in rent each month.

Allegedly, the rent was never paid even once, and Lile had to spend $21,445 on cleanup: When it vacated the premises in 2011, Universal apparently not only left “substantial garbage” behind, it also damaged the property.

Lile’s lawyer, Ashlea Brown, is demanding the furniture money, the cleanup money and some $27,000 in unpaid rent.

Lile, of course, has his own problems. You may recall that he was indicted last year for allegedly embezzling more than $300,000 from Cosmopolitan Life Insurance Co. of Little Rock, where he was once CEO.

His criminal trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 15 before U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright.

As for 1525 Merrill Drive, you may also recall that Lile sold it last year to satisfy the $350,000 he owed on the property.

Universal has not yet responded to the suit; Brown did not immediately respond to requests for comment.



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