Janesville21.7°

Business files suit against Hendricks

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JAMES P. LEUTE
October 20, 2007

Ken Hendricks’ attorney said Friday a lawsuit seeking $230 million from the Rock County businessman, his wife and their private equity investment firm is frivolous and without merit.


And it’s nothing more than a scare tactic designed to stop the Hendrickses from pushing ahead with their own suit for payment for a business they sold several years ago, said Morris J. “Mo” Brooks, the Huntsville, Ala., attorney representing the Hendrickses in proceedings filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla.


Brooks said the Hendrickses filed suit in April to recover nearly $2.4 million in promissory notes owed them by Mirabilis Ventures, an Orlando-based private equity fund, which was in the process of purchasing Presidion Solutions, a professional employment company. Earlier, Presidion bought Paradyme, a similar company owned by Hendricks. Hendricks retained an ownership stake in Presidion.


The Hendrickses claim they were never paid for their interest when Mirabilis Ventures bought Presidion.


Thursday, Mirabilis filed a countersuit against the Hendrickses seeking $25 million in damages for money already spent and upwards of $200 million in damages possibly resulting from payroll taxes that Hendricks and Presidion are alleged not to have paid.


The counterclaim alleges that Ken Hendricks used Presidion to cover up financial problems in Paradyme. It also accuses Hendricks of hiding the situation from Mirabilis during its acquisition of Hendricks’ stake in Presidion.


Brooks said Mirabilis is a troubled company grasping at straws.


Earlier this month, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported that Mirabilis, with hundreds of millions of dollars in losses on the table, was closing. Since the start of the year, 24 legal actions have been filed against the company with 16 of them either dismissed or settled, the journal reported.


“There’s absolutely no factual basis for this counterclaim,” Brooks said.


“They’re just using this as an avenue to improve their negotiating position.


“It’s strictly litigation designed to prevent us from pressing forward with our suit to recover the outstanding notes due us.”


That won’t happen, Brooks said.


“I’m sure we’ll get a judgment against them, but I’m not confident that we’ll get paid.”



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