Whittle’s East Hampton Holdings in Jeopardy

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office has moved to enforce a judgment handed down recently in Suffolk Supreme Court against one of the largest landowners in East Hampton Village, the education entrepreneur Christopher Whittle.

Legal notice of the proposed sale of three separate properties belonging to Mr. Whittle, two on Briar Patch Road, where he owns an 11-acre estate bordering Georgica Pond, and the third on Irma Court off Gould Street, appeared last week in this newspaper and is scheduled to run again on Sept. 28, Oct. 12, and Oct. 26. According to the notice, all three parcels are to be put up for sale at 11 a.m. on Nov. 14, in the auditorium of the sheriff’s office in Yaphank.

The plaintiff is named as Sonny Varkey, who is described by Wikipedia as a Dubai-based billionaire. Mr. Varkey, the chairman of GEMS, a top-of-the-line network of for-profit schools in the United Arab Emirates, Great Britain, and his native India, is said to have lent Mr. Whittle an undetermined a sum of money several years ago, at the outset of a joint venture. It had not been repaid by Aug. 8, 2016, when judgment was first entered in New York County.

Mr. Varkey and Mr. Whittle first met in the United Kingdom in late 2007, according to published reports in the international press, while both were expanding their education empires there. Together, they planned to build a network of high-end schools in capitol cities worldwide, designed for the children of diplomats and executives who change jobs and cities every few years and need to uproot their families. All the schools would follow the same curriculum.

The financial crisis and recession that began in 2008 killed the partnership, which was to have been bankrolled, at least in part, by Mr. Varkey.

With his East Hampton holdings in jeopardy, the amount of the judgment against Mr. Whittle is surprisingly low, “between $2 million and $4 million,” according to the county sheriff’s office.

Rose Coveney of the office’s Civil Bureau, which placed last week’s legal notice in The Star, said on Monday that it had been meant to appear earlier, but that that publication had been canceled. “I was surprised he got this far, to advertise,” she said, apparently meaning Mr. Varkey. “I don’t understand why he didn’t settle.”

She cautioned prospective bidders to do “a lot of research” before venturing to Yaphank in November. “This is not a foreclosure,” she explained. “It’s a ‘judgment sale’ on his [Mr. Varkey’s] interest in the property, sold subject to any valid liens. We don’t give clear title but ‘sheriff’s sale deed.’ ” So, she said, a bidder would be wise to research mortgages and outstanding liens. “You have to be careful,” she warned.

Mr. Whittle’s Briar Patch estate has been on the market with an asking price of $140 million since 2014. Lawyers said this week that no one could buy it now, at least not while it is subject to the judgment.

Mr. Whittle could not be reached for comment. A woman who answered a call to the East Hampton house said he was not there and she did not know when he would be, and that “the manager” was not there either.