Bank of America wins $4 million judgment against Franke, Gannon

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BofA wins $4 million judgment against Franke, Gannon

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Piggybankblog posted on 03/02/13

Cross linked with bizjournals.com

Bank of America has won a nearly $4 million judgment in its lawsuit against Gannon International and Bill Franke, founder and chief executive of Gannon.

St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Prebil granted a $3.9 million judgment in favor of Bank of America on Feb. 26.

The judgment is the latest development in an ongoing case between the bank and Gannon, which originally began in August 2012, when Bank of America sued Franke and Gannon over the failure to repay nearly $4 million in loans.

Bank of America’s lawsuit was part of a string of litigation filed against Franke, Gannon and its affiliated companies, which include real estate operations, technology businesses, and international trade and development in southeast Asia. Randall Scherck of Lathrop & Gage, who represents Bank of America, did not immediately return calls for comment.

Gannon was once one of the largest private companies based in St. Louis, with revenue of $101 million in 2009, the latest figure available.

Franke and Gannon have faced a number of ongoing lawsuits.

In October 2011, Robert Greene, the onetime chief operating officer of the Gannon Properties real estate firm and business partner of Franke, filed 19 lawsuits against Franke and various Gannon businesses, alleging in all 19 that Franke had been diverting and/or converting certain assets, including funds from Gannon-controlled apartments, for his personal use. The suits, which were filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court, are ongoing.

In July 2012, a two-year legal battle in federal court between Franke and Walter Blocker, once chief executive of Gannon’s Vietnam operations, over a dispute stemming from a planned $90 million brewery in Ho Chi Minh City, ended, with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eastern District of Missouri ruling in favor of Blocker.

On Aug. 14, 2012, U.S. Bank won a summary judgment in the Eastern District Court of Virginia against Franke and several of his companies for nearly $1.2 million. U.S. Bank filed suit over the failure to repay millions in bonds relating to Gannon’s information technology business in Virginia.

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