Meat House investors, creditors line up to sue
The path to uncertainty regarding the fate of the Meat House corporate operations in Maine and New Hampshire is littered with lawsuits, large and small.
The four largest involve investors, landlords and creditors who have filed claims against the Meat House and its owners totaling more than $2 million in Rockingham and Hillsborough County Superior Court and at U.S. District Court in Concord.
Plaintiffs include:Kings Highway Realty Trust of Hooksett — the company that owns the shopping center in Stratham, where the Meat House has a corporately owned butcher shop.
According to its suit, filed Feb. 20 in Rockingham County Superior Court, the Meat House signed a lease with the plaza on Jan. 13, 2012, for 10 years and six months, with rent of $90,000 a year for the first five years and $103,000 for the last five years, along with maintenance charges.
Kings Highway also loaned the Meat House money for the renovations, which resulted in a $300,000 promissory note dated Jan. 13, 2012. Meat House soon defaulted on both the rent and the promissory note, according to the lawsuit.
Meat House then agreed to a promissory note dated Dec. 3, 2013, for $125,296 — the amount in arrears on the existing lease and original note. The Meat House defaulted and Kings Highway initiated legal action, according to the lawsuit.
The amount of the base rent due under the lease for its remaining term is approximately $850,000.
The judge granted attachments of $450,000 each against real estate owned by Jason Parent and Justin Rosberg, and a $1.2 million attachment against their bank accounts and other accounts.
Investor Cris Goodman of Portsmouth — Goodman claims he loaned Parent and Rosberg $250,000 in 2012, with a promise to repay the loan in weekly installments.
The Meat House first missed a payment on Sept. 30, 2012, and has continually failed to make the payments, according to Goodman's suit, also filed in Rockingham County Superior Court on Feb. 20.
Goodman maintains he's owed a total of $215,005 in principal, interest, fees and collection costs. He seeks an attachment of $200,938 against Rosberg's Windham property.
670 LLC, a Brady-Sullivan Property — The well-known Manchester development company filed suit against Meat House and Justin Rosberg on Feb. 14 over non-payment of rent and subsequent breach of a settlement agreement on property in the Jefferson Mill building at 670 North Commercial St., where Meat House had maintained a corporate location.
The lawsuit, filed at Hillsborough County Superior Court North in Manchester, calls for a judgement of more than $350,000, along with attorney fees, interest and costs.
Massachusetts investors Edward R. Barry, William Kenney, Scott J. Nathan, and Scott Tellier — The four men claim to have invested in the Meat House and its franchise operations in 2010, in exchange for nonvoting memberships on the company board. The agreement allowed the investors to demand repayment of their respective investment plus 20 percent after 12 months.
In their lawsuit filed on Jan. 22 in U.S. District Court, Concord, the investors claim they're owed $408,575, which includes their initial $350,000 investment plus $28,409 in legal fees and other costs.
They claim there is an "immediate danger" that Rosberg and Parent "will attempt to remove the funds held by the trustee and either conceal or dissipate those funds in order to avoid having to answer for the agreed upon and proper judgment against them."
According to the lawsuit, the investors demanded payment for two years, during which time Rosberg and Parent "stated time and again that a refinancing and/or equity investment would be forthcoming that would allow them to repay what is admittedly owed."
But, the investors said, they were recently informed by Rosberg and Parent that another attempted debt refinancing had fallen through.
The men were granted an attachment of up to $450,000 against the assets of Meat House Franchising, held by Centrix Bank & Trust and J&J Investments.
In their court filing, the investors said the attachment was necessary to secure repayment of a loan they made to the Meat House and to ensure that a settlement agreement made between them and the Meat House last September was enforced. Under that agreement, the investors were to be paid $420,000 along with interest of 20 percent, the suit said.
American Express Bank — The major credit card provider sued Rosberg and Meat House Management in 2012, seeking repayment of credit card balances in the amount of $209,899.
Correspondent Jason Schreiber contributed to this report.