CLAYTON, Mo. - Attorney Rex Carr of St. Louis fooled the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and cheated British inventors, according to a suit the inventors filed in St. Louis County circuit court.
Ian Williamson and Clifford Hazel of the United Kingdom seek damages from Carr and other owners of International Fuel Technology in St. Louis.
Williamson and Hazel, represented by attorney Jack Spooner of Clayton, claim that when they sold a fuel additive business to International Fuel Technology in 2001, Carr and others misrepresented the buyer's financial condition.
The lawsuit claims that Carr and others misled the Securities and Exchange Commission with inaccurate documents.
Carr was contacted for comment, but has not returned a phone call.
International Fuel Technology owners admitted last year that an annual report to the commission contained a misstatement.
The commission notified the company last July that the division of corporation finance had completed a review of its filings and had "no further comments at this time."
Carr owns more shares of International Fuel Technology than anyone else, according to the suit. He has received some shares in return for legal services.
Last year he loaned the company $1 million and guaranteed a $500,000 loan from another owner.
An auditor recently expressed doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern, but on June 9 owners announced they found a buyer.
Spooner sued International Fuel Technology, Carr and others the next day.
He wrote that in 2000, Williamson and Hazel incorporated Interfacial Technologies Limited, in England and Wales, to sell additives they invented.
"Interfacial owned certain proprietary technologies which purported to reduce harmful pollutant emissions from certain petroleum based fuels," Spooner wrote.
In 2001, he wrote, International Fuel Technology purchased all Interfacial stock and agreed to register 21 million shares of its stock for Interfacial shareholders.
International Fuel Technology entered an employment agreement with Williamson, a consulting agreement with Hazel and a share purchase agreement with both, the suit alleges.
International Fuel Technology failed to compensate Williamson and breached the share purchase agreement with both inventors, the suit alleges.
Spooner alleges breach of fiduciary duty, claiming International Fuel Technology filed false documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission or filed no documents at all.
Finally he alleges that International Fuel Technology interfered with efforts of his clients to raise capital for business ventures.
Defendants communicated to third parties to discourage them from engaging in ventures with Williamson and Hazel, the suit alleges.
The communications resulted in parties not engaging in those ventures, the suit alleges.
As of July 8, no defendant had responded, court records show.