Thomas Kramer: SoBe Bad Boy to Declare Bankruptcy, Live Off Friends
Real-estate developer Thomas Kramer was once worth $100 million. The German-born bad boy was a South Beach pioneer and a stalwart of the party scene in the 1990s. Lately, he has suffered severe financial problems, the result of a $244 million Swiss court judgment against him.
Now he has told lawyers that he "is going to declare bankruptcy, probably," according to a deposition he gave in a civil lawsuit last month at the law offices of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton in Coral Gables. But, hey, it's not over. He says he has $300,000 left in a Dubai bank account.
Kramer spoke in a civil suit over money he borrowed decades ago to buy South Beach property and never repaid. Dressed like an aging rock star in a camouflage hoodie and stars-and-stripes neck scarf, he seemed oddly chipper as lawyers representing Verena Mitshke-Colande and Claudia Miller -- heirs to Germany's largest currency-printing company -- grilled him about his assets.
The tone for much of the grueling six-hour deposition, which New Times viewed, was set at the beginning when he was asked if he suffered from any medical conditions that would impair his ability to answer questions.
"Only brain damage," quipped the hard-partying entrepreneur.
Indeed, Kramer treated the event as a bit of a joke and answered most questions with either "I don't recall" or "Ask my accountant." Quizzed about how he would support himself after his money ran out, Kramer said he planned to live with family and friends.
"I'm everywhere invited, so they are going to help me," he said.
Eighteen months ago, Kramer inherited $3.3 million from the estate of his late father, Willi Kramer, a wealthy stockbroker. So the lawyers for Mitshke-Colande and Miller -- heirs to a business magnate who improperly lent Kramer cash in 1992, just as South Beach real estate was taking off -- wanted to know where all that money went.