Oklahoma's Bob Funk Sued by Partner for 2nd Time

Article excerpt

For the second time in less than two years, Express Services Inc. CEO Bob Funk is being sued by his longtime business partner.

In documents filed Tuesday in Oklahoma City federal court, Funk's partner, William H. Stoller, alleged that Funk forced Express Services to loan him more than $44.9 million to purchase the UU Bar Ranch in New Mexico and that Funk had taken millions of dollars out of ESI, while at the same time preventing withdrawals by Stoller. Stoller also claimed Funk had refused to pay back millions of dollars loaned to him by ESI.

Stoller's attorney, Oliver Howard, said the Oregon businessman was seeking equitable relief and damages in excess of $75,000.

"Instead of using his personal assets to make all or part of the UU Bar loan payments as promised, Funk forced ESI to make the payments based on the guaranty, so that Funk could instead use his personal assets for other personal purposes, such as to remodel the UU Bar Ranch and, in approximately 2008, purchase a hotel," the court filing notes. "As a result, under the guaranty alone, Funk has taken out from ESI at least $46,955,000 more than Stoller has been allowed to take out of ESI."

In a statement e-mailed to The Journal Record, Funk said the lawsuit was unwarranted.

"The filing of yet another lawsuit by Bill is most regrettable, especially given the fact his other lawsuit was summarily dismissed," Funk said. "This lawsuit is very similar to the one dismissed ... except he is now suing me personally. Since the dismissal of the first lawsuit, we have worked in good faith to find a satisfactory conclusion even to the point of adopting recommendations of the Crowe and Dunlevy law firm. With that noted, just like the first lawsuit, this second lawsuit is totally unwarranted and completely void of merit. …