Report: Bixby Sued Over Mismanagement of Company
Ramsey-based Bixby Energy Systems is reportedly facing legal battles from board members and investors who claim that the company has been mismanaged.
According to the Star Tribune, two of the company's directors have filed a suit in Hennepin County District Court claiming Bixby has been mismanaged and needs a receiver to step in to run the company.
The Minneapolis newspaper reports that former U.S. Representative Gil Gutknecht, who joined Bixby's board in 2007, and James Bergeron, an Illinois man who is the company's largest investor, filed the suit. The two men reportedly claim that Bixby's Chairman and CEO Robert Walker has mismanaged the company by paying himself an excessive salary, putting family members in unnecessary jobs, and traveling at the company's expense.
But Gutknecht and Bergeron aren't alone in their claims against the company and its management. The Star Tribune reports that Global Partners Unified (GPU), a Nevada company that has an exclusive contract to sell Bixby's coal-gasification technology in China, filed a separate suit claiming Bixby has repeatedly misrepresented the status of its technology.
“GPU would like to see Bixby as a going concern,” David Davenport, an attorney for GPU, told the Star Tribune. “The objective of this lawsuit is to get the court to come in, take over management, and run the company the way a receiver sees fit.”
In addition to facing the two lawsuits, Bixby is also reportedly under investigation.
According to the Star Tribune, the company disclosed last year that it is or may be the subject of a grand jury investigation, as well as an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and court papers say the Internal Revenue Service is also investigating the company.
Bixby was founded in 2001 and produces and researches alternative and renewable energy, including coal gasification with reduced carbon emissions, coal conversion to natural gas, and liquid fuels.
Click here to read more in the Star Tribune about the legal battles facing Bixby.