Gwillim Trucking sues CNB Bank
CARLINVILLE (Nov. 9, 2017) – Gwillim Trucking, Inc., has filed a lawsuit against CNB Bank and Trust, alleging breach of banking contract. The company seeks $3 million in damages from the bank, as well as reimbursement of at least $80,000 for bank charges, $78,667.27 for incurred losses, and $150,000 for losses related to a labor agreement dispute that arose as a result.
According to the lawsuit, Gwillim Trucking has done business for many years with the bank. That business included a business checking account from which corporate debts were paid, such as employee wages on a weekly basis; those checks were issued based on information provided by the company’s office manager to its accountants, Fleming, Tawfall and Company, P.C.
The lawsuit states, “The Defendant had an obligation based upon his contractual agreements with the Plaintiff to insure that the withdrawals from Plaintiff’s checking account were only paid to employees for a wage check that had been duly endorsed by the employee or a proper endorsement sequence. Notwithstanding the contractual agreements between the Plaintiff and Defendant between November of 2014 and February of 2016, CNB Bank and Trust, employees of the Defendant allowed an employee of the Plaintiff, namely, Kari McKinney, on a regular basis to present checks that were issued in the name of either present employees or former employees of the Plaintiff for alleged services for payment of cash withdrawals, notwithstanding said checks not having been endorsed by the employee/payee of the check for cash payments and subsequent withdrawals from Plaintiff’s accounts.” The lawsuit says 99 checks were cashed by McKinney (the company’s business manager) in this manner, and that upon receiving the cash, McKinney “fraudulently used the funds — in an amount of at least $78,667.27 — for her own benefit. The first count of the lawsuit seeks the return of those losses to Gwillim Trucking.
As a result of those fraudulently cashed checks, the lawsuit claims, the company’s account was “over drafted on a regular basis from November 2014 to February 2016,” resulting in overdraft charges exceeding $80,000. The second count of the lawsuit seeks at least $80,000 for the reimbursement of those bank charges.
The third count of the lawsuit claims the bank’s actions resulted in the company being unable to “maintain hauling for its customers, including but not limited to Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc., to the same extent as was operating prior to November of 2014, nor to have sufficient debt to income ratio to obtain further funds to seek and maintain additional customers for whom the Plaintiff could provide hauling services,” resulting in the company being required to cut back its operations, including the number of trucks, and therefore causing a reduction in profits. It is on the third count that the company seeks the $3 million “representing the consequential damage incurred to Plaintiff’s business operations for the actions of the Defendant.”
The fourth count claims that as a result of the bank’s actions, the company “was unable to make payments under a Labor Agreement the Plaintiff had entered into with the Teamsters Union and a result thereof became involved in a collection action filed by the Teamsters in a case filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Springfield Division.” That case resulted in a judgment against the company based on interest and provisions of the labor agreement, as well as payment of attorney fees, all in the amount of $150,000. This count seeks the reimbursement for that amount.
McKinney was charged in October 2016 with allegedly stealing more than $100,000 but less than $500,000 from the company (a Class 1 felony); later, 98 counts of forgery were added, each a Class 3 felony. The lawsuit document indicates the total amount of fraudulent withdrawals was a minimum of $179,483.13. McKinney pleaded not guilty to the theft charge; no pleas have been entered for the forgery charges. A trial has not yet been held.
Representatives from the bank did not respond to a request for comment prior to press time.