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ARCHIVED  October 8, 1999

Markley vs. Moreland set for trial

GREELEY – The first round of a civil lawsuit involving David Markley, formerly of Stampede Toyota Inc., and William Douglas (a.k.a. “Dealin’ Doug) Moreland, will be waged in Weld County District Court April 24, 2000.

The five-day trial was scheduled in early September – almost a year to the day after Markley’s initial filing of allegations on Sept. 10, 1998. Counterclaims were filed by the defendants (Moreland, his attorney, Stephen Munsinger, and Colorado Car Connection, doing business as Stampede) on Oct. 6, 1998.

“We’ll simply be continuing discovery, and we’ve added another party, a defendant who resides in Arizona, and we need to take his deposition,´ said Ken Keene, a Cherry Creek attorney representing Moreland and Stampede.

The origin of the dispute traces back to late March 1995, when Moreland offered Markley the position of general manager of Stampede Toyota in Greeley and sold him 20 percent ownership of the dealership for $200,000.

Markley’s filing stated that under the terms of the original agreement, Moreland agreed to sell another block of ownership in the company – up to a total of 45 percent of all issued and outstanding shares – provided that Markley secured cumulative net earnings of $1.5 million over the following 10 years. During the same 10-year period, Markley was to pay an additional $250,000 to Moreland in return for his increased stake in ownership, the filing added.

Markley further submitted that during his tenure at Stampede, the dealership posted net earnings of $78,000 in 1996 and $205,000 in 1997, compared with the net loss of $250,000 sustained in 1993 and 1994 prior to his arrival.

But in his counterclaims, Moreland has denied these financial figures and is accusing Markley of falsification of records and theft.

In mid-June 1998, the Markley-Moreland partnership ended abruptly.

Markley claims in his filing that on June 15, 1998, Moreland and Munsinger entered his private office and “without any prior notice or warning … told him he was fired and was being evicted from the dealership, told him all his contractual rights and remedies were terminated and threatened to file criminal charges against him and ‘ruin’ him in the automobile business.”

In the May 27 segment of his deposition to the Weld County District Court (provided to The Northern Colorado Business Report by Keene’s office), Markley also spoke of an “exotic offshore” account in the Bahamas into which he claimed Moreland was channeling money through his warranty company.

“We lost employees over this because they didn’t want to sell it because it was, in their opinion, unethical,” he said, describing Moreland’s warranty company as a “scam.”

On May 28, also in his deposition, Markley depicted the June 15 meeting, submitting that Moreland and Munsinger verbally abused and threatened him to the point of tears. He described Moreland as having “a very colorful mouth,” and Munsinger’s actions as “cold hearted,” adding that Munsinger literally threw a termination agreement at him – “Tossed is not the operative word,” he said. “Threw.”

Munsinger’s July 1, 1999, deposition (also provided by Keene) presents a much less dramatic perspective on the meeting.

“I think it was early on I presented the termination agreement. I either handed it to him or placed it – I was sitting across from him at his desk – placed it in front of him …” Munsinger said.

He described Markley’s position during the exchange: “Initially it was, there’s a mistake. You’re wrong. I didn’t do anything. He denied. And then when the details went into, he acknowledged, admitted, and asked for forgiveness and to pay it back.”

Moreland, who has not yet made a deposition, in turn has posted a conflicting account of the meeting. However, he said that on June 15, he and Munsinger informed Markley of their decision to terminate his “position as an employee and officer,” citing numerous accounts of breach in fiduciary duty, including: “directing funds from the corporation for his own benefit,” “failing to keep and maintain proper books and records,” “falsifying the books of the corporation,” and “causing the profits of the corporation to be falsely increased to obtain compensation and bonuses to which he was not entitled.”

In early August 1999, Moreland, Munsinger and Colorado Car Connection submitted an amended counterclaim to the district court, adding a new dimension – and a new plaintiff – to the case. Tim Warbington, a resident of Arizona, is now being sued by the defendants for “doing business with Plaintiff Markley under the name WARCO.” Markley, the filing also suggests, conducted dealings with Warbington/WARCO under the name Phoenix Alliance Guarantee.

The nature of the dealings between Phoenix Alliance and WARCO, Markley’s performance as general manager of Stampede and the details of the June 15, 1998 meeting between Markley, Moreland and Munsinger are among the issues central to this case. The conflicting accounts of these events, as well as others, presumably will be approached at the trial in April.

GREELEY – The first round of a civil lawsuit involving David Markley, formerly of Stampede Toyota Inc., and William Douglas (a.k.a. “Dealin’ Doug) Moreland, will be waged in Weld County District Court April 24, 2000.

The five-day trial was scheduled in early September – almost a year to the day after Markley’s initial filing of allegations on Sept. 10, 1998. Counterclaims were filed by the defendants (Moreland, his attorney, Stephen Munsinger, and Colorado Car Connection, doing business as Stampede) on Oct. 6, 1998.

“We’ll simply be continuing discovery, and we’ve added another party, a defendant who resides in Arizona, and we need…

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