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Bankruptcy Law Blog

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Former Adams Produce Owner Under Fire, Facing Criminal Charges

Is it possible that criminal charges will result from information obtained in bankruptcy proceedings?

 

In 2010, Adams Produce, a large family-owned company with a long history in Birmingham, was sold to a group of investors. Just two years later, in 2012, the company filed for bankruptcy and closed.  Four hundred employees were left without jobs and the company owed the employees almost three weeks back pay.  The company also owed almost $16 million to vendors, creditors, and produce suppliers.  The company blamed decreasing margins and lawsuits from rival companies in the bankruptcy filing.  Once the company filed, the United States government cancelled a recently signed, four and a half year contract for produce worth $41 million.    

Prior to the sale and bankruptcy, the family-owned business brought in outside managers to lead the business.  The family eventually sold ownership stakes to the outside CEO, CFO, COO, and an investment firm, CIC Partners.  The bankruptcy and closing impacted the original family, specifically Carl Adams III who claimed that he lost $5 million and suffered emotional and physical damage as a result of the company’s failure.  Adams was forced to return to the workforce and forgo retirement while watching his family business shut down.  Adams blamed the company’s former CEO and CFO, for most of the problems associated with the closing and bankruptcy.  

Former CFO John Stephen Alexander had insight into the company’s finances and did not inform CIC of the issues that Adams Produce faced. Adams claimed the CFO had a duty to report the fraud in the government contract and was guilty of duping people into buying into a failing company along with the CEO. Alexander was sentenced on separate fraud charges and served a prison sentence related to those charges.

If you believe that you have done something illegal and are now considering filing for bankruptcy, you should speak to an experienced attorney before making your next move.  The attorneys at Padgett and Robertson have extensive experience helping companies in the Mobile and Baldwin County areas navigate bankruptcy proceedings.  Contact us today at (251) 342-0264 for a free consultation.      


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Padgett and Robertson assist clients with Bankruptcy, Personal Bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and The New Bankruptcy Law in Mobile, Alabama and throughout southern Alabama. Alabama State Bar Association Regulations require the following: "No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 11 U.S.C. 528 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the following: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”



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