Oil spill contractor accused of mishandling funds

Kyle Barnett Sep. 18, 2012, 1:00am

Henry L. Klein

NEW ORLEANS – A Louisiana-based subcontractor is suing a contractor for submitting payments to its employee rather than the company's owners, which was only allegedly discovered after the employee's death.

LRC Technologies, Inc. filed suit against United States Environmental Services, LLC, Phil Pertuit, Phil Ramon, Carl Panebiango and BEF Construction, LLC against in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Aug. 2.

LRC claims BEF and the other defendants worked with LRC project manager Ronnie Beecher on a hazardous waste treatment or removal program. The plaintiff claims the defendants remitted payments to Beecher who was representing himself as a part owner of LRC rather than just an employee.

LRC asserts that after taking ill Beecher was admitted to the hospital under the designation of being a "single man" before he died.

Following Beecher's death his "common law" wife Maria McKee demanded $300,000 in payments from BEF Construction on behalf of Beecher's work for LRC. The plaintiff also claims Beecher, before his death, had cashed $365,821 in checks intended for LRC from BEF made out to "cash" in order to avoid taxes.

The defendants are accused of not depositing the contract money to the correct person or entity and keeping equipment belonging to the plaintiff.

Damages in the amount of $80,000 plus the return of two boats and a full audit of the contract monies to determine the amount still owed to LRC.

LRC is represented by Henry L. Klein of New Orleans.

The case has been assigned to Division G Judge Robin M. Giarrusso.

Case no. 2012-07552.

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