(Jan. 29, 11:08 a.m.) Storey's Fruit & Produce Inc., Philadelphia, has closed, owing produce creditors more than $1 million.

Lawyers involved in the case say they expect creditors to receive only 15%-17% of the $1.1 million Storey’s Fruit owes.

A deposition was scheduled for Feb. 5 with Dan Storey III, president of the wholesaler, which occupied three units on the Philadelphia Regional Produce Market.

“It appears the recovery from the (Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act) trust assets is very limited,” said Katy Koestner Esquivel, an attorney with Meuers Law Firm, Naples, Fla., which represents 15 Midwestern shippers owed $800,000. “One of the things I will be doing at the deposition is trying to figure out how a company that bought millions of dollars of product only has a couple hundred thousand dollars to pay its creditors.”

The company ended regular business operations Dec. 30 and was in a wind-up mode through late January as its principals were involved in the process of collecting receivables, said Jeff Chebot, a member of the Philadelphia-based Whiteman, Bankes & Chebot LLC law, which represents Storey’s Fruit owners.

Four U.S. Department of Agriculture PACA creditors filed a civil trust action in the U.S. District Court of Pennsylvania against Storey’s Jan. 5.

“There may not be any inventory left,” Chebot said. “The process will determine how much of a gap there will be between assets available to pay produce suppliers and the amount of unpaid produce debt. I anticipate the gap will be substantial, but don’t have that amount yet.’

Chebot said recent economic conditions have made it difficult for wholesalers. He said a decline in sales has led them to come to the conclusion that they can’t overcome the gap in operating deficits and continue to the business.

The company’s partners are Dan Storey Jr., father of brothers Patrick “Butch” Storey and Dan Storey III.