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Titanium distributor files Rico suit

Keywords: Tags  titanium, nickel alloy, high-temperature alloy, Lawrence Holdings, LHI, ASA International, lawsuit, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act Rico

LOS ANGELES — Lawrence Holdings Inc. (LHI), parent company of a nationwide chain of titanium, nickel alloy and high-temperature alloy distributors, has accused a supplier of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software of fraud and violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (Rico) Act.

Wallingford, Conn.-based LHI alleges that eight defendants participated in a scheme to sell it ERP software "despite knowing that they did not have such a product and having no intention of obtaining one," documents filed in U.S. District Court in Florida said.

Among the defendants are ASA International Ltd. and principal owner, chairman, president and chief executive officer Alfred Angelone; chief financial officer Terrence McCarthy; and owner and board member Christopher Crane. The Merrimack, N.H.-based company has a "portfolio of successful operating companies that make technology work," according to its website.

LHI alleges that ASA International and the other defendants "employed a similar pattern of conduct to defraud several other companies," including a number of metals distributors.

Efforts to contact Angelone, McCarthy and Crane through ASA were unsuccessful.

The company claims that it was sold software by Verticent LLC, a now-bankrupt Tampa, Fla., "shell" company with no employees related to ASA International, the filing said.

LHI paid Verticent more than $1 million in "interim billing," incurred cloud hosting fees of more than $100,000 and hired additional employees which it paid more than $500,000 as a result of the "inability of the ERP software to function," the filing said.

The company is seeking "an award of three times the amount of damages that plaintiffs have actually sustained, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs of suit," according to the filing.

LHI’s individual distribution subsidiaries also were listed as plaintiffs. They are Wixom, Mich.-based Tico Titanium Inc., a distributor of industrial titanium products; Camarillo, Calif.-based Supra Alloys Inc., a distributor of titanium for the aerospace, medical, sports and recreation, pulp and paper, chemical processing, and metals finishing industries; Wallingford-based Snappy Materials LLC, a distributor of aluminum, stainless, nickel and high-temperature alloys and titanium for aerospace, defense, electronics, forgings, industrial, medical and petrochemical markets; and Wallingford-based Alloy Metals Inc., a distributor of titanium, aluminum, copper, stainless and nickel alloys.

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