No charges against HPM's Filos

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 3, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Mergers & Acquisitions, Public Policy, Injection Molding, Machinery, NPE 2012

MOUNT GILEAD, OHIO (Feb. 3, 12:10 p.m. ET) — After a year of investigation, the Morrow County Prosecutor’s office has decided not to file charges against Christopher Filos, the former owner of the now-shuttered HPM machinery company.

Only a very few of the alleged victims—former HPM employees who lost money paid for health coverage—expressed any interest in pursuing the case, according to the county prosecutor.

“I didn’t do anything. This just proves the point,” said Filos when contacted by Plastics News. “It’s unfortunate that the business failed. People got hurt unfortunately, not intentionally.”

Filos’ company, Taylor’s Industrial Services of Tinton Falls, N.J., bought the assets of HPM in 2001. The plant shut down in December 2009. HPM owed money for unpaid taxes, a bank loan and several state government agencies.

In March 2011 equipment at the Mount Gilead, Ohio, plant was auctioned. The plant once made injection molding machines, extrusion lines and die-casting equipment.

Mount Gilead police executed a search warrant for employee records in January 2010, resulting in several thousand documents.

Morrow County Prosecutor Charles Howland said the rural county, with limited funding, could not afford to hire an accountant to sift through the records. The county did hire a retired accountant to help. Also, the U.S. Department of Labor lent the services of a senior investigator, who last fall sent the prosecutor’s office a three-page memorandum detailing the alleged theft of employee benefits.

According to a news release issued by Howland, the investigator concluded that Filos on May 1, 2009, entered into an agreement with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield for health insurance for 36 current and eight former employees.

Howland said Filos paid $30,000 for the first month’s premium but failed to make payments for the next two months, June and July. Anthem canceled the health coverage—after employees paid a total of $22,123 — out of their paychecks for the current employees, and through COBRA payments from the former ones.

Howland alleges that Filos used that money to pay for expenses of the business and to pay personal property tax.

The county prosecutor’s office sent out 44 letters to the alleged victims. Only six responded, and just three of them came to a meeting on Jan. 18 to determine whether they wanted to pursue charges.

“I had hoped that at least 15 or 20 would show up so that the case would continue to be in the felony range,” Howland said in the news release. “Of that group, we were hoping that they would elect four or five individuals to speak on the group’s behalf at the grand jury. Without the participation of the victims, we cannot go forward.”

The Morrow County Sentinel reported the story Feb. 1.

The HPM name lives on, as a Chinese maker of injection presses and die-casting machines bought the intellectual property and customer lists at the auction. Then the company, Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery Co. Ltd., picked up a service center run in Marion, Ohio, by former HPM president William Flickinger.

That new company, HPM North America Corp., will exhibit at NPE 2012 in April.


Comments

No charges against HPM's Filos

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 3, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Songwon acquires division of India's SeQuent

April 24, 2014 12:22 pm ET

Songwon Industrial Group of South Korea has signed a deal with SeQuent Scientific Limited, India to acquire SeQuent's specialty chemicals business.    More

Image

Closed Loop Recycling out to become biggest milk bottle recycler in the world.

April 24, 2014 11:55 am ET

The new plastic milk bottle recycling line at Closed Loop Recycling is part of a 12 million pound ($20.1 million) investment strategy which CLR...    More

Image

Shoemaker hopes to tip balance of military running shoes in US companies' favor

April 24, 2014 10:56 am ET

Boston-based athletic shoe maker New Balance and its supplier Rogers Foam Corp. are joining forces to lobby support for a proposal that the U.S....    More

Image

China's biggest fuel tank maker getting a US foothold

April 23, 2014 4:41 pm ET

The majority owner of China's biggest fuel tank maker is expanding its global automotive footprint with the acquisition of the fuel tank unit of...    More

Image

CPM Extrusion, ECON launch new line of underwater pelletizers

April 23, 2014 11:25 am ET

CPM Extrusion Group and ECON GmbH unveiled their brand new EUPC line of underwater pelletizers today at ChinaPlas held in Shanghai, China.    More

Market Reports

Market Data Book - Rankings & Lists

A one-stop download of Plastic News' exclusive annual lists and processor rankings containing essential data including sales, employees, end markets, materials and more.
EXCLUSIVE EXCEL FEATURE: full mailing address details for available plant locations.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Mold Making and Tooling Review and Outlook 2014 North America

This report provides in-depth analysis of the mold and toolmaking market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats, the latest developments in production and labor and equipment trends impacting moldmakers.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events