Business owner alleges partner took $200K from company

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | May 9, 2011

EDITOR'S NOTE: In an update on the case from defendant Justin Wright on Nov. 7, 2011, this case was resolved amicably without going to court. The litigation was the result of a dispute over a buy-out and use of the company name which was "blown out of proportion" by both parties. The former partners resolved their differences, and Wright retains the rightful use of the Wright Industrial Safety company name.

GALVESTON � Alleging his business partner pocketed funds intended for their company's vendors and creditors, James Brandon is pursuing legal action.

Brandon's lawsuit against Justin Richard Wright accuses Wright of diverting approximately $200,000 from the coffers of their business, Wright Industrial Safety LLC, to his personal savings account with Bank of America.

The suit was filed April 20 in Galveston County District Court.

Brandon and Wright are both officers and managing members of Wright Industrial Safety, which they formed in April 2009. Wright owned 75 percent of the venture while 25 percent of it belonged to the plaintiff.

Brandon oversaw the company's daily operations and the defendant was responsible for the acquisition of projects.

According to the suit, Wright failed to tender income generated from the projects he was able to acquire back into the company. The defendant disappeared and ultimately abandoned the business after the end of a project last October, it says.

Before the end of last year, the complainant began to close out the business's books and made sure all creditors and vendors were being paid. Funds accrued from the projects were deposited in the accounts for Wright Industrial Safety at the same time.

The suit says the money, however, was taken by Wright before it was placed into the company's account.

"(That) caused third party creditors' checks to bounce and resulted in unnecessary costs and expenses upon the company," it states.

"As such, Justin Wright purposely and deliberately converted funds belonging to Wright Industrial Safety LLC, including those belonging to James Brandon individually."

An investigation determined that the defendant siphoned in excess of $199,474.

Bank of America is also named a defendant because it allegedly serves as Wright's bank.

In addition to the funds in question, a jury trial is requested.

Attorney Craig Welscher of Houston is representing the plaintiff, and Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner is presiding over the case.

Case No. 11-cv-0667

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