Direct Air founder files for personal bankruptcy

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - One of the founders of Myrtle Beach-based Direct Air has filed for personal bankruptcy protection, a move that halts a lawsuit filed against by the trustee in the airline's corporate bankruptcy case.

A South Carolina media outlet reported Ed Warneck has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation. He claims about $200,000 in assets and more than $26 million in debt.

Warneck was president of the airline, which abruptly stopped flying in March 2012.

The personal bankruptcy filing halts a lawsuit filed by Joseph Baldiga, the trustee in Direct Air's corporate bankruptcy case. Baldiga is seeking to recover more than $550,000 that Direct Air paid to Warneck.

Baldiga also is seeking to recover nearly $2.7 million the charter paid to the three other founders along with unspecified punitive damages.

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