WICHITA — Wichita Welding Supply has almost $700,000 in federal tax liens filed against it.
Majority owner J. Frick isn’t commenting, but his minority partner is.
“I knew it was going to be coming, I just didn’t know when,” says Marvin Lampton, who says he owns almost 40 percent of the company.
Lampton also owns Lampton Welding Supply.
He first began acquiring Wichita Welding stock in 1986 in conjunction with another deal. He’s not active in the day-to-day operation of the company.
“There wasn’t much I could do,” Lampton says. “I tried to help him every way I could. It’s just a bad situation that kept getting worse.”
He says Wichita Welding has been operating for more than half a century.
Competition increased, he says, and business fell off. The company had to let numerous employees go over the years. Now, there are fewer than 10.
Lampton says he advised Frick to pay the taxes.
“He said, ‘I don’t have a choice. I don’t have the money.’ ”
Lampton says this is something bad that’s happened to a good person.
“I would say that J. is the most honest, kind-hearted, nicest guy you’d ever want to meet,” he says. “I’ve hated seeing what’s happened to him.”