Ex-Carlyle exec sued for breaking $11.5M co-op contract

August 22, 2013 08:19AM

A former top executive at Carlyle Group was sued by two Park Avenue co-op owners for allegedly refusing to pay a $1.15 million deposit on an apartment and falsely claiming that the unit was in poor condition.

Ex-Carlyle brass Brett Wyard agreed in June to buy an interest in a fifth-floor co-op at 800 Park Avenue for $11.5 million, Kim and Deborah Fennebresque, the plaintiffs who own the apartment, said in a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court. As part of the deal, Wyard had put a $1.15 million down payment in escrow, the plaintiffs said in the complaint.

But then Wyard – who left Carlyle in 2012 after working at the private equity firm for seven years and heading up a distressed debt unit there – claimed that maintenance issues in the unit nullified the contract and held onto his down payment, according to the complaint, reviewed by Law360.

Wyard could not be reached by Law360 for comment.

“Wyard … fabricated a series of vague and conclusory complaints about the condition of the apartment,” the Fennebresques said in the complaint. “He then instructed the escrow agent to release the down payment to him.”

The plaintiffs were able to fix the water issues for roughly $1,000, they said in the complaint, adding that the sum was a fraction of one percent of the unit’s purchase price. [Law360] Hiten Samtani