NEW YORK — Richard Sebastiao was brought into Allou Healthcare Inc. to straighten out its troubled operations, and Thursday he apparently fired those who had hired him.

While all four retain seats on its board, Allou’s principal executive officers — Victor Jacobs, chairman; Herman Jacobs, chief executive officer; Jacob Jacobs, executive vice president, and David Shamilzadeh, president and chief financial officer — have been terminated, an announcement from the company said.

However, Helen Chaitman, a bankruptcy lawyer at Phillips Nizer, questioned Allou’s right to make such a move. "I don’t know where Allou Healthcare Inc. has the authority to do this," she said. "This is not accurate. The board has not met for this purpose." She declined further comment.

Her firm was hired by the board to represent Allou in bankruptcy court after its lenders — Congress Financial Corp., Citibank and LaSalle Business Credit Inc. — filed an involuntary Chapter 11 petition against the firm last week. Those same lenders earlier had filed similar petitions against four Allou subsidiaries, which are now in Chapter 11 proceedings in a Brooklyn federal bankruptcy court.

According to bankruptcy court papers, Allou’s board is seeking court approval to hire Phillips Nizer as bankruptcy counsel and have Jenkens & Gilchrist removed from the case. The boards of the four bankrupt subsidiaries told the court they hadn’t consented to the hiring of Jenkens & Gilchrist as bankruptcy counsel, even though a resolution was "purportedly signed" by Shamilzadeh to the contrary.

Furthermore, court documents alleged that, upon taking control of the operations of the debtors on March 27 as chief restructuring officer, Sebastiao and his management firm, RAS Management Advisors, "immediately terminated all of the Hasidic Jewish employees and locked the Jacobses out of the premises, creating a massive employment discrimination exposure for the lenders."

The press release said inventories and accounts receivable backing its loans had been overstated by between $110 million and $115 million. Stuart Glasser, now with Value City Department Stores, and Jeffrey Berg have resigned from the board, the firm said.

Calls to Allou’s headquarters in Brentwood, N.Y., for comment were forwarded to an answering machine that said that the office was closed.

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