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Plaintiff seeks nearly $3 million in suit claiming breach of fiduciary duty

By Molly English-Bowers | Mar 30, 2016

BELLEVILLE – A shareholder in a family-owned company is suing for breach of fiduciary duty over alleged misappropriation of funds.

Robert G. Fournie Sr. filed the suit March 10 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Donald Samson.

The plaintiff was a shareholder of Belleville Concrete Company Inc., owning approximately 25 percent, the suit says. He alleges that at his request, the court appointed Samson as custodian over the company, specifically to protect nearly $1.4 million in proceeds from the sale of the company's property to the DESCO Group, an Illinois property management company.

According to the complaint, the defendant failed to protect those proceeds and allowed their disbursal to the company's shareholders from which the plaintiff was demanding an accounting.

The suit alleges that while the defendant was the company's custodian, James Fournie, a director and the president of the company, and his wife, Karen Fournie, office manager and bookkeeper, incorporated a new company called Fournie Contracting Company Inc. They allegedly diverted at least an additional $1.4 million intended to be deposited into the Belleville Concrete Company account.

The defendant owed a fiduciary duty to the plaintiff and to the company, but he breached that duty by failing to protect the assets of Belleville Concrete Company Inc. Further, the defendant failed to pay taxes and the union dues for Belleville Concrete which were due and owed, and allowed Fournie Contract Company to steal business opportunities while he was custodian, the suit alleges.

Robert Fournie seeks a judgment of $2,766,911, the union dues and taxes that are owing, and the assets and business opportunities of Belleville Concrete that were taken while the defendant was that company's custodian.

The plaintiff is represented by Michael S. Williams and Kristi M. Vetri in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 16-L-138

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