Bank and leasing company sue D&L’s Lupo for $214K

By Peter H. Milliken


Ben Lupo is a defendant in two lawsuits filed on the same day in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Dollar Bank of Cleveland sued Ben Lupo and his wife, Holly, for $96,619, plus interest, on a personal loan note Feb. 22.

Also on that day, Dollar Leasing Corp., of the same Cleveland address, sued Lupo, 62, of Beard Road, Poland, and his company, D&L Energy Inc., for a combined total of $117,435 on three equipment leases, signed between 2009 and 2011, and demanded return of the equipment, which includes frack tanks.

Both companies demanded full and immediate payment soon after federal and state authorities began investigating allegations that Lupo ordered an intentional discharge of brine and oil-based drilling waste into a storm sewer flowing into a Mahoning River tributary Jan. 31 from D&L’s office at 2761 Salt Springs Road in Youngstown.

Lupo has pleaded innocent to a federal criminal charge of violating the Clean Water Act stemming from that spill. Lupo will appear before U.S. Magistrate George J. Limbert in Youngstown on that charge Friday.

Also last month, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources ordered D&L to immediately cease all injection-well operations in Ohio and revoked the brine-hauling permit of another of Lupo’s companies, Hardrock Excavating LLC.

The bank said it issued a $100,000 personal line of credit to the Lupos on March 5, 2008, payable on demand at the bank’s election.

On Feb. 6, the bank said it “exercised its demand rights, accelerated the balance due” and demanded full payment by Feb. 15 “of the entire outstanding balance” of $96,619.

On Feb. 11, the leasing company accelerated the balances due under the leases and demanded full payment by Feb. 21, that company’s lawsuit said.

Lupo could not be reached for comment Friday on the new lawsuits, which are among at least five pending civil actions in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in which Lupo or his companies are defendants.

The bank’s lawsuit is assigned to Judge Maureen A. Sweeney; the leasing company’s lawsuit is assigned to Judge John M. Durkin.

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