Aerospace company involved in lawsuits

Ryan Ross
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Summerside-based Testori Americas Corporation and Wiebel Aerospace are part of a series of lawsuits involving their parent company TMC Avion Inc., which bought them both in 2011.

One of the biggest employers in the P.E.I. aerospace industry is involved in several lawsuits that reach as far away as California and could be worth millions of dollars.

Summerside-based Testori Americas Corporation and Wiebel Aerospace are part of a series of lawsuits involving their parent company TMC Avion Inc., which bought them both in 2011.

The latest legal battles include a lawsuit and counter-lawsuit between TMC Avion and the former owners of the companies it purchased.

But they don’t end there, with TMC Avion and some of its affiliate companies launching legal action in California that includes allegations of racketeering involving six men and another company called Aviation Capital Partners, LLP.

One of the men involved in the case in California is in turn suing TMC Avion Inc. and several other companies, alleging he wasn’t paid for consultant work he was hired to do.

TMC Avion is seeking more than $14 million in damages from former Testori Americas, Testori Interiors and Wiebel Aerospace owners Lindo Lapegna, Paolo Testori, Francesco Uboldi and Aerorail Investments Holding.

In a statement of claim from August 2011, TMC Avion alleged the defendants provided incorrect financial information about their companies and overvalued the businesses prior to the sale.

TMC Avion also alleged the defendants have been interfering with the businesses and have wrongly asserted ownership over them.

The defendants denied the allegations and filed their own claim alleging TMC Avion was in breach of its purchase agreement.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit was filed with the United States District Court Central District of California in June 2012 against Scott Holland, Aviation Capital Partners, Patrick Ruppert, Howard Sanderson, Jeffry Conry, Wayne McElreath and George McConnaughey.

In that case, TMC Avion and several of its companies alleged the defendants were involved in a scheme to defraud the business of any benefit from its purchase of four companies that included Testori Americas.

TMC Avion alleged Holland and the other defendants colluded to siphon money out of the companies.

Ruppert, who is one of the defendants in the California lawsuit, is seeking more than $208,000 from TMC Avion and several other companies for consultant work he claimed he wasn’t paid for.

Along with the legal battles, Testori Americas and Wiebel Aerospace have fallen behind on their payments to the provincial government for money borrowed through various loans.

The two companies, which employ more than 150 people in P.E.I., have been borrowing from the provincial government since 2000 and owe a combined $13.2 million, including interest, through the P.E.I. Century 2000 Fund and Finance P.E.I.

A spokeswoman for the Innovation Department said the companies are behind on the loans.

Testori Americas also has three loans through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) business development program. Those loans are worth $926,358 and a spokeswoman for ACOA said they are in good standing.

All of the defendants have denied the allegations against them in each case.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

Organizations: Aviation Capital Partners, Testori Americas Corporation, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency United States District Court Central District P.E.I. Century 2000 Finance P.E.I.A Innovation Department

Geographic location: California, Summerside

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • GoodRiddens
    February 28, 2013 - 19:54

    Shut it down, and sell it for scrap. It's a writeoff

  • NOT SURPRISED
    February 26, 2013 - 16:34

    These companies have been, are and always will be JOKES!!!!! Burn baby burn hahahahaha

  • nick
    February 23, 2013 - 06:36

    The Guardian forgot to mention that Ghiz recently extended tax excemption for these outfit - for an other 10 years, - never paid taxes before, ------- it never ends. The taxpayers end up holding the bag, how long can we continue relying on inept politicians and civil servants? As long as we foolishly elect idiots.

  • alfredd
    February 23, 2013 - 06:31

    Is this the same out-fit that was granted tax free status by the Ghiz government a little back??? I am sure they are not too worried, - if they default on the 13.2 mill they can just form an other company and buy the firm back and owe nothing, --- they can borrow the pattern from the Grand Holman, ---- so taxpayers, suck it up, Ghiz and his 'wonders' are at the helm, - and you can relish that they brought you the HST to pay for it all. Enjoy-----------

  • red like me
    February 22, 2013 - 22:17

    according to the new book *How PEI Liberals Stole 500 Million dollars From Canada* by Rob McEachern Wiebel Aerospace received 7 PNPs while Testori received 4. Go to Indigo and purchase a copy! Best $14.95 you can spend!

    • A must read
      February 23, 2013 - 00:02

      Agreed. Could not believe the total destruction of a society and the depth of such greed. Corruption and greed, a deadly combination for any society, and islanders will never recover. Unfortunately, the greedy gets greedier and more pay offs needed, only major lawsuits coming in and defaults, not paying back loans as the debt just goes over the biggest cliff in North America. This book is a must read for sure!

  • scandals, scandals, ACOA and provincial gov't
    February 22, 2013 - 17:19

    of course ACOA and the provincial government throwing money to this- more wasted money and the scandals...will the scandals,these horrible, disgraceful, shameful scandals ever stop?????? A new scandal and lawsuit almost every couple of weeks. No wonder we don;t have any money and so in debt, no wonder Islanders have to leave, too much for most people!!!! except for those political folks, the connected, the elite who are making millions...just becoming so disgusting that it sickens most Islanders

  • Tom Paine
    February 22, 2013 - 16:07

    The two companies, which employ more than 150 people in P.E.I., have been borrowing from the provincial government since 2000 and owe a combined $13.2 million, including interest, through the P.E.I. Century 2000 Fund and Finance P.E.I. Testori Americas also has three loans through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) business development program. Those loans are worth $926,358 More loans were made after these charges became public.

    • Doesn't Matter
      February 22, 2013 - 19:31

      I would like to know how Tom Paine knows there were more loans were made after this situation became public?? Seeing as how it only became public recently. How could you possibly know?

    • It does matter to honest Islanders
      February 23, 2013 - 01:02

      To: "it doesn't matter"..so what, What are you hiding? People are tired of all the corruption. People are speaking out. Big shock and bad news to people like "it doesn't matter". Secrets, non-transparency, cover-ups keep the corruption going. When more people speak up and speak out against it, the better off we will be. While there is so much secrecy, crooks, thieves and hoodlums can get away with anything. Hats off to people like Tom Paine! We need more people like him and less cover-ups. It really does matter to honest people. We are all getting painted with the same ugly brush when there are such scandals, lawsuits, wrongdoing.

    • ....
      February 25, 2013 - 19:01

      I did not once say that I agree with anything that has gone on to cause the current situation. All I am saying is that there are honest islanders working at these locations and you think for one second that they don't feel upset and betrayed. This happened because of one Italian owner hanging 200+ jobs above the governments head. So instead of the government paying out EI to those 200+ employees, they gave out loans to the company. Was it right that the government allowed themselves to be blackmailed? No. But does that surprise you at all?

  • John W.A. Curtis
    February 22, 2013 - 14:32

    Testori was paying $9.00 an hour in 2000 so why would anyone buy the company?

  • Despierto
    February 22, 2013 - 11:19

    Once it hits the fan it will spread a wide pattern.