HOUSTON DISTRIBUTOR GOES TO MAT WITH JAPANESE 'PARTNER'
HOUSTON DISTRIBUTOR GOES TO MAT WITH JAPANESE 'PARTNER' WASHINGTON, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Charging fraud, as well as violations of the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) and Securities Acts, the creator and distributor of a unique tension control bolt put his Japanese partner on the defensive today with the filing of an amended claim in federal court in Chicago. The claim, brought by Kenneth B. Lohr of Houston, alleges that Unytite Japan had, through fraud and deceit, acquired a majority interest in the company he founded, Lohr Structural Fasteners, Inc., and was now using that position to eliminate Lohr as a distributor in the marketplace. According to the complaint, in 1988 Lohr was fraudulently induced to sell a majority interest in his company to Unytite Japan. The sale was based on the understanding that Lohr would be the sole domestic distributor of tension control and hex head bolts manufactured by Unytite Japan's wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, Unytite, Inc. Lohr kept his end of the bargain by sharing with his Japanese partner all his product knowledge, customers lists and marketing expertise. Later, however, Lohr discovered that Unytite, Inc., was selling behind his back. Other actions confirmed that the Japanese never had any intention of honoring their bargain with Lohr. In fact, Unytite Japan intended to use Lohr's company only as long as necessary before eliminating him in favor of Unytite's own U.S. subsidiary. Lohr's attorney, Paul C. Rosenthal, a partner with the Washington law firm of Collier, Shannon & Scott, compared the Lohr case to a similar situation exposed in "Losing the Trade War with Japan," a PBS "Frontline" special televised earlier this year. Said Rosenthal: "This is another example of a U.S. businessman finding that his trust in his Japanese partners has been misplaced." According to Rosenthal, the remedy for this type of deceit lies in a number of laws, including RICO. "The purpose of the RICO statute was specifically to deter the take-over of legitimate businesses through fraudulent means, and that is exactly what happened here," Rosenthal stated. The amended counterclaims were filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. The case is Unytite, Inc., and Unytite Fastener Manufacturing Co., Ltd. v. Lohr Structural Fasteners, Inc., and Kenneth v. Lohr. -0- 4/14/92 /CONTACT: Meg Mullery for Lohr Structural Fasteners, 202-342-8439/ CO: Lohr Structural Fasteners ST: Texas, District of Columbia IN: SU:
TW -- DC039 -- 8400 04/14/92 17:45 EDT
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|Date:||Apr 14, 1992|
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