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Judge dismisses Express Services lawsuit; co-founder vows to refile

U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron dismissed the case filed by William H. Stoller against Robert A. Funk.
BY STEVE LACKMEYER Modified: October 15, 2010 at 2:48 pm •  Published: October 15, 2010

Bill Stoller, co-founder of Express Services Inc., is preparing to refile litigation against his partner Bob Funk following a judge's dismissal of Stoller's lawsuit alleging Funk diverted more than $134 million for personal use.

U.S. Federal Judge Robin Cauthion rejected several items submitted by Funk asking for dismissal of the case, but agreed with one claim that Stoller did not allow the company's board enough time to respond to his allegations.

"The case is far from over," said Dennis Rawlinson, Stoller's attorney. "The court order allows Mr. Stoller to amend and refile. And he will. We remain confident Mr. Stoller will ultimately prevail on his claims."

In his filing in June, Stoller asked the court to force Funk to return funds allegedly diverted from the company they cofounded and to remove Funk as chief executive officer of Express Services.

The allegations include:

• Using Express Services as a guarantor for Funk's $85.5 million purchase of the historic UU Bar Ranch in Cimarron, N.M., without approval of Stoller or the company's board of directors.

• Payment of $41 million on Funk's loans on the UU Bar Ranch.

• Advances totaling $44 million for workers' compensation and insurance premiums for employees of Funk's franchises (separate from the company).

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