An involuntary bankruptcy petition was filed Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale by three companies seeking to recover $18.7 million from a Chinese pharmaceutical firm.

The Chapter 7 petition was filed against Jiangbo Pharmaceuticals Inc., which was formerly known as Genesis Pharmaceuticals Enterprises Inc., according to the petition. The case has not been assigned to a judge.

While Jiangbo’s mailing address is in China, the debtor’s street address was listed as 1133 S. University Drive in Plantation.

Listed creditors include Memphis-based Pope Investments LLC, which seeks $15.52 million. New York-based companies Hua-Mei 21st Century Partners LP and Guerrilla Partners LP seek a combined $3.18 million. All three companies say their claims stem from a 6 percent convertible note.

The companies are represented by Fort Lauderdale attorney Eyal Berger of Akerman Senterfitt. Berger declined comment.

Regulatory filings show a company in decline for two years.

Jiangbo, a Florida corporation headquartered in Laiyang, China, was delisted by the Nasdaq in 2011 after less than a year of trading.

The Securities and Exchange Commission began administrative proceedings last September for failing to file its 2011 annual report and three quarterly reports since then. The agency wanted to determine whether the company’s securities registrations should be revoked or suspended for a year.

Jiangbo reported $227 million in assets in March 2011 when it filed its latest quarterly report. The company said at the time that chief financial officer Elsa Sung resigned for personal reasons.

She resigned as the company’s registered agent in September 2011. The company was dissolved as a Florida corporation by the state in January 2012 for failing to report a registered agent.

A Pope affiliate filed an SEC report in February 2012 to note its investment in Jiangbo.

The company researches, develops, produces, markets and sells pharmaceutical products and supplements in China.

Jiangbo shareholders filed a class action suit against the company in Miami federal court in July 2011. The company later defaulted. The case is still pending, according to federal court records.

"The Chinese officers and directors essentially abandoned the company," Louise McAlpin said last year. She was part of a Holland & Knight team representing Sung, who was a co-defendant in the class action and was the target of a derivative action. Sung was dismissed from both claims after it was found that she had no knowledge of the actions of other company officials.