Sunday, October 4, 2015

Jury: Colonial Marble owes its builder $4.2M

Says Tasos Papadopoulos deserves 1/3 share

Jury: Colonial Marble owes its builder $4.2M


NTP Marble Inc., owner of Colonial Marble & Granite, King of Prussia, must pay $4.2 million to Tasos Papadopoulos, who built the company's stone fabricating plant, for his share in the business, according to a verdict delivered by a Common Pleas Court jury on May 11 after a civil trial.

The jury in the breach-of-contract trial found Papadopoulos was entitled to one-third the value of NTP, whose sales totalled more than $27 million last year, based on their original agreement when he built the plant in 2004-06.

Papadopoulos testified he had been promised a share of the business for helping set it up. But after the firm began operating, owners Nikos and Tom Papadopoulos (they are father and son -- and unrelated to Tasos) and their partner, Angelo Bekas, tried to cut Tasos out.

When Tasos tried to claim his share, "the defendants forced him out, changed the locks, then destroyed or concealed many of the relevant documents reflecting his ownership interests," according to a statement by Tasos' lawyer, Francis Malofiy, of Francis Alexander, LLC, Philadelphia.

The partners originally claimed there were no documents showing Tasos had "the slightest nexus" with the company, according to attorney Max Kennerly of the Beasley Firm, who helped bring the case. The partners later claimed Tasos was invited to be a shareholder, but only if he contributed money in addition to his time.

The partners claimed Tasos lacked "the slightest nexus" with the company, according to attorney Max Kennerly, who helped bring the case.

Tasos' handwriting expert, William Reis, testifed that an IRS document submitted by the defedants in the case had been "fabricated," according to Malofiy. 

Despite the other owners' claims, Tasos' lawyers were eventually able to secure records from PNC Bank confirming his ownership interest.

Lawyers for the other owners didn't respond to messages seeking comment.

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

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