Consultant illegally sold company, lawsuit says

By John O'Brien | Aug 25, 2006

MARTINSBURG - A West Virginia company says a man it hired as a consultant sold its assets to another company.

In a lawsuit filed Aug. 16 in Berkeley Circuit Court, Tiger Aircraft and TFX Management Group claim Gene Criss of Vero Beach, Fla., sold Tiger Aircraft to Samuel Miller and Network Hosts.

Criss was hired Dec. 31, 2004, by Tiger to provide the company with advice and assistant with strategic planning and product development.

The complaint adds that Criss was not a member of Tiger and was told not to dispose of any of Tiger's property.

"Samuel Miller, a principal in Network Hosts, advised and persuaded Mr. Criss to sign an agreement to sell certain assets of Tiger Aircraft to Network Hosts, notwithstanding and even though he had knowledge of Mr. Criss' fiduciary duties to Tiger Aircraft and its principals," the complaint says.

On Aug. 9, Criss executed the agreement without the knowledge of TFX and Tiger, the complaint adds.

"The agreement is null and void upon reasonable inquiry notice to any party that Mr. Criss is not a managing member nor does he have the power to dispose of all or substantially all of the assets of Tiger Aircraft," the complaint says.

TFX fired Criss on Aug. 16, and the complaint says he refused to leave the premises.

Tiger and TFX seek a declaratory judgment that the sales agreement is null and void, a temporary restraining order putting a halt to the transfer of ownership process, judgment for damages against Criss and Network Hosts and punitive damages.

Michael Lorensen of Bowles, Rice, McDavid, Graff and Love in Martinsburg is representing the plaintiffs.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number 06-C-585

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