ORLANDO-After three years, 20 volumes of files and about $2 million in legal fees, prominent time share developer David A. Siegel is in court again trying to overturn a $200-million divorce settlement he made with his wife of 29 years.

Siegel’s firm, Central Florida Investments Inc., is the largest privately-held time share developer in Florida and the 11th largest employer in Orlando with a staff of 5,000. Overall, the company is second only to Marriott International Corp. in average annual sales of $310 million.

Lawyers for Siegel are asking an Orange County Circuit Court judge to overturn the cash-and-property settlement. They argue Ronald Leventhal, the former CEO of Central Florida Investments, misinformed Siegel about his firm’s projected profits prior to the developer making the divorce deal in 1997. Leventhal denies the allegation.

Leventhal’s alleged misinformation led Siegel to believe he could personally fund the $200-million deal, his lawyers argue. Now, Siegel maintains, he can’t financially afford to honor the settlement’s terms. His lawyers are asking the court to lower the amount of the settlement and revise its terms.

In a hearing Tuesday before Judge Robert M. Evans, Siegel’s lawyers contend Leventhal was double-dealing while working at CFI. They allege the former CEO planned to leave Siegel, form his own time share company and therefore had no qualms in giving the developer erroneous financial projections.

Leventhal left Central Florida Investments in December 1997 to start Tempus Resorts, a rival time share company. Siegel’s divorce settlement was final in October 1997. Leventhal’s partner is New York-based Apollo Real Estate Investment Fund.

Siegel’s former wife, Bette I. Siegel, is now married to Joseph Whitaker, an Orlando real estate broker. The hearings are expected to run through next week.

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