Capmark, the mortgage holder on downtown's First National Center, is agreeing to a request by the building's owners to exit their bankruptcy, but the motion remains contested by an asbestos removal contractor.
Aaron Yashouafar, chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based Milbank Real Estate and representative of investment groups in the property,
That financing, Yashouafar's attorneys argued, is critical to paying a required $12 million settlement with Capmark and resolving a $21 million mortgage that the lender foreclosed on in 2010 before the bankruptcy filing.
If the $12 million settlement is not paid to Capmark by May 27, Yashouafar has agreed to give up any protest to the foreclosure and agree to the appointment of a receiver who would be tasked with disposing of the landmark.
Yashouafar's attorneys explained in their April 5 pleading that he was unable to obtain the $12 million in financing while still under the shadow of the bankruptcy.
Yashouafar also remains indicted on three counts of theft of property by false pretense and three counts of embezzlement in connection with alleged defrauding of a senior residents condominium association in Nevada. Yashouafar has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In a response filed on Friday, Capmark's attorneys supported the request to end the bankruptcy under the condition that the court retain jurisdiction over the enforcement of the May 27 deadline and that financial operations and reporting required during the bankruptcy be continued until the mortgage settlement is met and closed.
Attorneys for LVI, a contractor that did asbestos removal during a previous renovation of First National Center, responded the same day that they object to the bankruptcy discharge.
The filing also alleges that attorneys for Yashouafar were not truthful in their report to bankruptcy judge Niles Jackson when they claimed settlement talks had taken place with LVI in connection with the effort to end the bank
LVI is seeking repayment of $341,204; the company's attorneys allege Yashouafar's ownership group diverted federal grants awarded by the City of Oklahoma City that was to be used for the work and failed to pay for all the work performed by the contractor.
“The irony inherent in this circumstance is not lost on LVI,” the contractor's attorneys stated. “All it has ever attempted to do is recover payment for asbestos abatement service that was and is critical to continued use of the property by its tenants.”
Yashouafar and attorneys for LVI and Capmark did not return calls to The Oklahoman on Monday.