MoJack Distributors sues former CEO Nate Gregory for performance issues

WICHITA — MoJack Distributors has filed a lawsuit against former president and CEO Nate Gregory due to what the suit says were performance issues.

The company formed in 2007 to produce lifts that make maintenance of riding mowers and equipment easier. The suit says MoJack then expanded its business to hand trucks and moving accessories and created a model that would allow for further expansion.

According to the suit, Gregory was hired shortly after the company formed and initially “acted in the best interest of Plaintiff and its members” as the company grew to have $40 million in business.

MoJack then “lost a major retail customer that significantly affected” business in 2012, the suit says, and around that time Gregory asked permission to invest in CN Cash for Gold.

The suit says Gregory was told that he could if it were a passive investment but that he then began focusing on buying a majority interest in CN Cash for Gold and became an active manager in the company.

The suit further says Gregory inappropriately pledged his membership units in MoJack as collateral for a bank loan to invest in CN Cash for Gold and managed it during his MoJack working hours.

In March, the suit says MoJack’s manager, Dan Drake, discovered how much Gregory had been diverting his time away from MoJack and fired him.

Gregory referred questions to his attorney, Greg Drumright.

“We’re looking forward to presenting our side of things and responding to all of the allegations,” Drumright says. “We need to wait and respond at the appropriate time, and now is not it.”

MoJack attorney Todd Shadid won’t comment either.

“I’m not going to comment beyond what’s in the petition,” he says.

Drumright won’t say what Gregory is doing these days.

“That pertains to some of the allegations,” Drumright says. “It would be inappropriate to comment about that.”

Family members dispute stake in H.J. Born Stone through lawsuit

WICHITA — One of Wichita’s most established stone companies is the source of a family dispute that’s resulted in a lawsuit.

At issue is ownership of H. J. Born Stone. According to the company’s website, the business has been in the same family since 1949.

Betty Born filed the lawsuit as a trustee of her late husband John Born Jr.’s revocable trust. The suit, filed in Sedgwick County District Court, seeks a temporary and permanent injunction and restraining order against Sharon Born, daughter of H.J. Born and cousin of John Born.

According to the lawsuit, Sharon Born agreed to sell an interest in H.J. Born Stone to John Born in 2010. John Born was then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and, the suit says, the plaintiffs notified Sharon Born of the illness and assured her that if anything should happen to John Born, his life insurance would guarantee payments of promissory notes to her.

John Born died Sept. 8. The suit says his widow contacted Sharon Born less than two weeks later to offer payment on the notes, but Sharon Born rejected her attempts because she was too busy with her family’s own estate.

According to the suit, on Sept. 21 Sharon Born used her attorney to deliver notice to Betty Born that she demanded the entire balance of the promissory notes and declared default because of John Born’s death.

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