WILMINGTON, Del. - AmeriServe Food Distribution Inc., a major supplier for U.S. fast-food restaurants that is under U.S. Bankruptcy Court supervision, accused Chairman and former Chief Executive Officer John Holten of wrongly diverting at least $13 million into companies he controls.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, privately held AmeriServe contended that Holten withdrew $13 million from the Addison, Texas-based company's accounts a month before its Chapter 11 papers were filed in January.
Holten, who lives in Greenwich, Conn., should have known at that time that the company was insolvent, the suit alleges.
While AmeriServe says Holten transferred some of the money to his companies as purported expense reimbursements or management fees, the company contends that it received inadequate benefit in exchange. The suit also suggests that $31 million was diverted by Holten during 1999 with little value to AmeriServe.