31 Oct Firm at center of Olander suit files for bankruptcy – TBJ
By Lauren K. Ohnesorge – Staff Writer, Triangle Business Journal
Wall Group Industries, whose CEO is accused of “civil embezzlement” in a lawsuit filed by serial entrepreneur Michael Olander Jr., is now seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The Raleigh dry wall company filed for bankruptcy Oct. 20, listing between $100,000 and $500,000 in assets and between $1 million and $10 million in estimated liabilities. According to the petition, CEO Frank Byrd has a 65 percent ownership stake in Wall Group and Olander owns the remaining 35 percent through his company, MDO Holdings. The bankruptcy filing lists a firm called FFD as Wall Group’s largest creditor, with a loan for more than $593,000.
A bankruptcy complaint, also filed by Wall Group on Oct. 20, alleges FFD is a shell for Olander, and lists FFD and Olander as defendants. The suit also accuses Olander of commingling his funds with that of Wall Group’s, “without Byrd’s knowledge or consent.”
Wall Group’s attorney, Jim White of Chapel Hill’s Parry Tyndall White, says the Chapter 11 filing was made “to benefit all of its creditors.”
“What a Chapter 11 plan will allow the Wall Group to do is to restructure and to be able to ultimately propose a plan that will get its creditors paid,” White says. “So a [C]hapter 11 bankruptcy is not a liquidation or evasion, it’s a way to put a stop on things and say, ‘hey, let’s figure out how we can save this company,’ number one, and number two, reorganize the company in a way that’s productive for everyone involved.”