NYMP court hearing set for April 27
FREEPORT, N.Y.—Wayne Wahrsager, president of New York Merchants Protective Co., Inc. (NYMP)—a full-service alarm company here that’s been in his family for more than 100 years—contends the company’s court-appointed receiver is grossly mismanaging the business, causing “staggering waste and losses,” and also trying to fire the person vitally needed to ensure the business survives: Wayne Wahrsager.
“They’re trying to terminate me as of right now,” Wahrsager told Security Systems News today, April 21. He said the lock to his office door at NYMP was changed earlier this week in an apparent attempt to keep him out, but he said he has taken the door off its hinges and continues to come in to work.
In court documents filed this week in federal court, Wahrsager has asked a federal judge to curtail the powers of the receiver, attorney Ronald Friedman, and also stop him from terminating or suspending Wahrsager’s employment. A hearing on the request is set for next week, on April 27.
An attempt to reach Friedman’s attorney for comment was not successful before SSN’s deadline. Friedman has until April 25 to file a response to Wahrsager’s contentions. Friedman has previously accused Wahrsager of intentionally sabotaging NYMP's business to prevent Bank of America from recovering on a $17.5 million loan to the company.
The court filings are the latest development in a civil lawsuit filed by Bank of America on Jan. 5 of this year against NYMP. Bank of America charged NYMP with breach of contract regarding the loan. Bank of America said then it was owed more than $19.2 million, exclusive of interest, attorney’s fees and expenses, and sought the appointment of a receiver to protect the assets of NYMP.
NYMP, of which Wahrsager is a principal, is a full service alarm company serving New York and New Jersey. Wahrsager told SSN that the loan was originally made by LaSalle Bank, National Association, but that bank was bought by Bank of America. Bank of America filed suit after an attempt by NYMP to work out a forbearance agreement on the loan failed, Wahrsager said.
He told SSN that at the time he agreed to the appointment of a receiver and “kind of welcomed” what he thought would be an “impartial” expert to “fix the problems that needed to be fixed.”
In his court affidavit, he explained: “I viewed the opportunity to work with a professional receiver and his retained professionals as a good faith vehicle to attempt to work with BOA [Bank of America], NYMP’s largest creditor, to resolve NYMP’s outstanding debt.”
But now, Wahrsager contends in the filing, that belief has been “shattered,” and the “actions of the receiver have gone from mismanagement to negligent mismanagement to gross mismanagement.”
Wahrsager is seeking a court hearing on the amount of compensation that the receiver, Friedman, and his agent running NYMP, TRG Associates, Inc., are receiving.
Wahrsager claims in his affidavit that the receiver and his attorney and other professionals have been paid nearly $644,000 between Jan. 5 and March 31 of this year. Yet, Wahrsager contends, “in consideration of these payments the receiver has not restructured or turned around the company, but has instead created a cash shortfall,” which Wahrsager says exceeds $1.2 million.
He told SSN that in four months, the receiver has lost more than $100,000 worth of RMR and about 900 accounts and has made mistakes that include failing to bid for a $1.5 million New York City Department of Education contract NYMP previously had, sending fire techs out to repair burglar alarms, and not hiring sales staff. NYMP sales staff left after the lawsuit was filed, Wahrsager said.
Wahrsager told SSN that the receiver is trying to fire him because he is shining “a high intensity light on what’s going on.”
Wahrsager’s attorney, Gary Fischoff, in an affidavit said his client is “akin to a whistleblower.” Fischoff said that the receiver has told Wahrsager not to come to the office during business hours and that “he will shortly be fired.”
Fischoff contends the receiver needs to work with Wahrsager “as a team, with Mr. Wahrsager utilizing his years of experience as a manager in the security and fire alarm field while the receiver remains to manage the finances of NYMP, thereby protecting the interest of Bank of America.”
Wayne Wahrsager and NYMP also are defendants in another lawsuit filed Feb. 19 in the same federal court.
That breach of contract lawsuit also names other defendants, including NationWide Digital Monitoring Co., under its corporate name of NationWide Central Station Monitoring Corp., and Aaron Wahrsager, who is president of that company and Wayne Wahrsager’s son.
That lawsuit, filed by the NYMP receiver, Friedman, alleges the defendants transferred “a significant portion” of the assets of NYMP to NationWide “for no consideration in an effort to prevent Bank of America, its secured creditor, from recovering upon its $17,500,000 unpaid loan to NYMP.”
The lawsuit further claims the defendants “intentionally sabotaged, and continue to sabotage to this day, the remaining business of NYMP” to thwart Bank of America and the receiver of NYMP from collecting any judgment.
Aaron and Wayne Wahrsager deny those allegations.
Aaron Wahrsager also has told SSN that the lawsuit has nothing to do with a recent decision by gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson to terminate its licensing agreement with NationWide as of this past March 31.
Both Aaron and Wayne Wahrsager stressed that NationWide has no legal connection to NYMP and was not a guarantor of the $17.5 million loan.
However, Wayne Wahrsager told SSN that he believes the lawsuits “muddied up the waters” regarding the licensing agreement.