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Oklahoma lumber association exec charged

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A federal grand jury has charged Sharilyn Kay Young, the former executive VP of the Oklahoma Lumbermen’s Association, with nine counts of theft and embezzlement. The Sept. 2 indictment claims that Young stole more than $25,000 from the association’s health insurance fund by writing checks to herself over a two-year period.

Young, age 62, served as the trade group’s top executive from 1996 until 2007. According to the indictment, Young also had administrative authority over the lumber association’s health insurance plan and trust fund. In that capacity, she wrote herself approximately nine checks, ranging from $2,600 to $4,200 between October 2004 and December 2006, the Grand Jury claimed.

Young is free on a $5,000 bond, according to court papers. She faces a $250,000 fine, 10 years in prison, or both. The court may also demand restitution in connection to the charges.

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Trex wins court battle

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Winchester, Va.-based Trex prevailed in a patent-litigation case brought by an inventor who claimed his patents were being violated.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sided with a lower court ruling that Trex does not infringe on the patents, owned by Ron Nystrom.

The decision was celebrated at Trex, maker and distributor of a popular synthetic decking, railing, fencing and trim. “Ater eight years of litigation, the Trex management team can now put this unnecessary distraction behind us and maintain our intense company-wide focus on enhancing Trex’s operations and financial results,” said Trex president and CEO Ronald Kaplan.

The case, which dealt with products and fastening systems, has been lingering since 2001.

Part of the disagreement over the years between Trex and Nystrom revolved around patent no. 5,474,831, also known as “the ‘831 patent,” which relates to exterior wood flooring boards with a slightly curved top, so that water is easily dispersed.

In court papers, Nystrom is described as a working carpenter and the owner of a two-truck, two-employee lumberyard and the inventor and sole owner of the ‘831 patent.

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Around the Web: Republic Windows and Doors

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Richard Gillman, the former CEO of Republic Windows and Doors, was jailed yesterday after a judge set his bail at $10 million, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. The Chicagoland company made national headlines last year when its laid-off workers staged a sit-in.

Gillman has been charged with theft, mail fraud, money laundering and other felony counts connected to an alleged scheme to bankrupt his company. Prosecutors allege that Gillman secretly dismantled his operation so he could set up another non-unionized factory in a different state.

The abrupt closure of Republic Windows and Doors last December left more than 200 unionized workers without jobs, back pay or severance checks, prompting many of them to refuse to leave the company’s factory. The standoff lasted for six days, drawing national attention.

Over the protests of his lawyer, the ex-CEO was taken into custody after the unusually high bail was announced at a court hearing.

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