USA: Peabodys director resigns amid claims of improper financial transactions
Clifford Brent Young, director of Rocklin, California-based Peabodys Coffee, has resigned from his position citing improper financial transactions.
The news follows the company's announcement on 25 April that Young would step down as an officer.
Young's resignation letter, which is set forth in a Form 8-K filed yesterday [Tuesday], claims that he had resigned due to financial transactions he believed were improper. He did not identify these transactions, but the company responded by saying that this purported reason is pretextual.
Peabody's said that it believes Young posted a memorandum on an Internet bulletin board which he wrote and which made false and unfounded allegations against the company. The transactions described therein were legitimate and publicly disclosed, insisted Peabody's, and "Young is ignorant of or indifferent to the facts". Peabodys also claimed that Young has posted on the Internet documents he inappropriately removed from the company's corporate office, including information protected by law from disclosure.
Barry Gibbons, a Peabodys director, commented: "Peabodys took the high road [on 25 April] when Young's prior misconduct left us no alternative other than termination.
"We simply announced that Young had left the company's management team. Unfortunately, Young chose a different path. He has acted with the intent to injure the company and its shareholders, while serving as a director of the company."
Insisting that following Young's termination as an officer, but while he was still a director, he engaged in acts of harassment, disparagement, forgery, and competition against Peabodys, company chairman John Phillips said that a lawsuit against Young has been filed.
As a result of Young's termination for cause, his stock options to purchase 720,000 shares of Peabodys common stock at an exercise price of US$0.05 per share were immediately cancelled pursuant to the terms of his stock option agreement.
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