PITTSFIELD, MASS. - GE Plastics Structured Products Division of Pittsfield has filed suit against two of its former executives, claiming they defrauded the company. The civil suit, filed in October in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mass., alleges that William J. Lyon and Blair Todd Anthony conspired to divert money and products from GE Plastics to BBMC Inc., a company they allegedly owned.
Lyon and Anthony left GE Plastics in August, two months before the company filed the civil suit.
Lyon had been manager for marketing and advertising programs for GE Plastics, and Anthony was industry manager for Heavy Valox resin and fluid engineering for GE.
The suit also names Neils C. Kristensen, vice president of Lansen Mold Co. Inc. of Berkshire, Mass. GE claims he was a co-owner of BBMC Inc.
In December, the men filed counterclaims, denying the allegations and charging GE with intentionally trying to damage their business and reputations. Kristensen also filed a counterclaim charging GE Plastics with anti-competitive acts, including cutting off supplies and removing materials and tools from Lansen Mold.
The suit by GE Plastics does not seek specific damages, but asks for at least $650,000. The company estimated that GE Plastics was defrauded of 129,000 pounds of resin, more than $300,000 in payments to BBMC and $130,000 in entertainment expenses and payments to other vendors for services provided to BBMC.
Specifically, GE's suit alleges that Lyon and Anthony steered GE resin to BBMC, representing Kristensen as its owner, and ``invented'' a fictitious person named Jay Todd, an amalgam of the two men's names, to be the main contact for GE Plastics at BBMC, in order to hide their involvement.
It also alleges that Lyon solicited business and promotional materials for BBMC, while he and Anthony both used GE Plastics resources to divert materials from GE Plastics to Lansen. The lawsuit charges that in 1991, Lyon and Anthony used their positions at GE Plastics to qualify BBMC as a government supplier, and that Lyon sent letters to potential BBMC customers on GE Plastics letterhead.
The defendants claim that BBMC was a legitimate independent supplier and customer of GE Plastics.
``We are totally confident that when this case is resolved through the courts, we will be vindicated,'' Lyon said in a telephone interview last week. ``There are serious ethical questions on both sides of the aisle, and we look forward to the case being decided on the facts, not rumors, unsubstantiated allegations, and innuendo leaked out into the business community.''
He said BBMC is a public company, that its ownership always has been listed in state records, and that his actions while at GE Plastics were in made good faith and with the benefit of GE Plastics in mind.
The defendants, Lyon, Anthony and Kristensen, also claim that after they resigned, GE Plastics embarked on a campaign to harm BBMC's business and their reputations, and that GE Plastics instructed employees not to give out contact numbers for BBMC, induced customers to end business relationships with BBMC, and refused to supply Heavy Valox resin to Lansen, as part of that campaign.
GE Plastics, Anthony and Kristensen all failed to return phone calls requesting comment on the suit and countersuits.