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Judge urged to OK Art Institute of Las Vegas sale to faculty group

A court appointed receiver has asked a judge to approve the sale of The Art Institute of Las Vegas to a group of professors who have been negotiating to buy the school since January.

The motion filed Monday would authorize the sale of “virtually all of the assets” of the Henderson school to SAVE The Art Institute of Las Vegas for $250,000. The school has been under the control of a receivership headed by attorney Mark Dottore since its parent company, Dream Center Educational Holdings, went under in March.

Dottore’s filing states that the motion is brought on an emergency basis, as the school risks losing its accreditation, and thus its access to federal student aid programs, if the sale is not approved by July 31.

SAVE Ai, as the group is known, also will be unable to secure financing to continue operating the school without a deal in place, according to William Turbay, a professor and member of SAVE Ai Las Vegas.

“Without this contract, the school would cease to exist,” Turbay said Monday.

Turbay said the group has financed $180,000 so far. The total sale price represents the “highest and best offer” received, the filing states, and may be adjusted by a pre-closing audit.

SAVE Ai would receive title to the school free and clear of any liens and encumbrances under the deal — with the exception of debts to the Department of Education or the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation — which Turbay said includes any money owed to students and teachers.

Dottore’s filing states that the sale is consistent with good business practices, and beneficial to students, faculty and the community as there will be no interruption to the operation of the school. SAVE Ai has been operating the school under a managed services agreement with the receivership since March.

“As this court is well aware, the most important to all of this are the students, and if the school ceases to operate as an educational institution, its students will be unable to complete their programs of study and they will be detrimentally hurt,” the filing states.

The sale must be approved by the Northern District Court of Ohio, where Dottore was appointed, and would close within three days of SAVE Ai receiving approval from the Department of Education.

Contact Aleksandra Appleton at 702-383-0218 or aappleton@reviewjournal.com or follow her on Twitter @aleksappleton.

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