The owner of a Hillsboro tire business is named in pending litigation in multiple cases in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio.

Todd Wilkin, president of Mid-America Tire, doing business as Best One Tire, is among four defendants in Case No. 2:17-cv-00143: Abington Emerson Capital, LLCs (plaintiff) v. Jason Adkins; XPO Logistics, Inc.; Afif Baltagi; Mid America Tire of Hillsboro, Inc. (dba Best One Tire & Service of Hillsboro; Todd Wilkin; and John Eckerd, defendants.

Wilkin – individually or with his business – also is a defendant in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio Case No. 2:17-cv-719, Great Southland Limited v. Landash Corporation, et al.

In addition, Wilkin is listed as a defendant in Case No. 2:2018cv00500: Kirby Developments LLC v. XPO Global Forwarding, Inc. et al.

According to court records, the nature of the litigation involves alleged "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO)" issues.

When contacted by The Highland County Press, Benjamin Dusing, an attorney for Wilkin, said on Oct. 6: “Todd won’t be commenting, and I won’t say too much.

“I could say we’re constrained at the present time from commenting. Mr. Wilkin is a good man and didn’t do anything wrong. He looks forward to the issue being resolved and the full facts coming to light.

“If you’re in business long enough, you find out that not everybody is as honest as you are,” Dusing said. “That can have repercussions – all the way around.”

Dusing, a partner with the Cincinnati firm of Faruki Ireland Cox Rhinehart & Dusing, is representing Wilkin as his personal counsel.

Katherine Connor Ferguson, a partner with the Columbus firm of Kooperman Gillespie Mentel, represents Mid-America Tire, according to Dusing.

According to court records, the Great Southland Limited (GSL) v. Landash Corporation, et al. case "arises out of an alleged fraudulent scheme involving the sale of off-the-road mining tires. Defendant Jason Adkins and his company, Defendant Landash Corporation, are alleged to have approached GSL to obtain purchase order financing for the already-negotiated sale of the tires by the seller, defendant Mid-America Tire of Hillsboro, to the buyer, defendant Production Tire Company.

"Pending completion of the sale, the tires were to be transferred to XPO’s warehouse. However, GSL alleges that although it provided a $3.5 million loan to Landash to facilitate the tire sale, Production Tire never actually purchased the tires and made no payment to GSL as required by the loan terms. GSL alleges that the parties never intended to complete the sale of the tires and that it was fraudulently induced to provide the loan to Landash. GSL now seeks damages in the amount of the loan balance and unpaid interest and asserts 12 causes of action in its complaint against Adkins, Landash, Mid-America, Production Tire, XPO, and several other defendants alleged to have been involved."

The court recently stayed all proceedings in a related case involving many of the same players in an alleged fraudulent tire sale in which Adkins procured financing from Abington Emerson Capital, LLC. (Abington Emerson Capital, LLC v. Adkins, No. 2:17-cv-143, Doc. 144, June 1, 2018).

Also, according to court records, "In January and February of this year, respectively, Landash Corporation and Jason Adkins filed for bankruptcy. Accordingly, all claims by GSL against Landash and Adkins are automatically stayed, pending resolution of the bankruptcy proceedings under 11 U.S.C. § 362(a). XPO now asks the Court to exercise its inherent authority to further stay proceedings as against all defendants until the bankruptcy stay is lifted."

Court records continue: "For the same reasons that a full stay was warranted in Abington Emerson Capital, the court finds a full stay of proceedings appropriate in this case until the automatic bankruptcy stay is lifted as to Landash and Adkins. The court is mindful that staying the entire action until the Landash and Adkins bankruptcy stays are lifted will result in a delay of as-yet-unknown duration. However, if this case were to proceed, the court anticipates significant difficulties for all parties. For example, Adkins and Landash are not shielded from obligations to respond to discovery requests in furtherance of GSL’s claims against the solvent co-defendants. In re Privett, 557 B.R. 580, 586 (S.D. Ohio 2016) (holding that the automatic stay under § 362 does not shield a debtor 'from complying with discovery requests in a multi-defendant action where the debtor is a defendant, but where the requests for discovery pertain to the claims against the other non-debtor defendants.').

"But because Adkins and his co-defendants are all alleged to have participated in the same integrated fraudulent scheme, it seems inevitable that time-consuming disputes will arise as to which discovery requests pertain to GSL’s claims against Adkins or Landash, and which pertain to claims against the other defendants. Indeed, the court has trouble envisioning significant discovery that could be undertaken without implicating GSL’s claims against the debtors – which means that very little discovery could proceed even without a stay.

"Further, even if the court were able to identify a subset of discovery requests that pertain only to claims against the non-debtors, Adkins and Landash are key figures in GSL’s theory of the case. It seems unlikely that any party could fully present their claims or defenses without their participation. And finally, even if the remaining parties were able to complete discovery and fully present their claims and defenses, proceeding in the absence of Adkins and Landash means that the court would have to separately adjudicate GSL’s claims against the debtors.

"All of these logistical difficulties would be avoided by staying the present action until the automatic bankruptcy stays are lifted from GSL’s claims against Adkins and Landash. And while GSL may be prejudiced by the delay, the court finds that the prejudice is not undue. While it is unknown at this point exactly how long the stay will remain in effect, the court finds that this uncertainty is outweighed by concerns for judicial economy."

Court Conclusion

"For the foregoing reasons, XPO’s (XPO Global Forwarding, Inc.) motion to stay is granted. This action is stayed in its entirety until the Bankruptcy Court lifts the automatic stays applicable to Adkins and Landash under 11 U.S.C. § 362(a). Further, all other pending motions in this case will be held in abeyance while the case is stayed. The parties are directed to notify the court when the Bankruptcy Court has lifted the automatic stays."

* * *

• In the case of Abington Emerson Capital, LLCs (plaintiff) v. Jason Adkins; XPO Logistics, Inc.; Afif Baltagi; Mid America Tire of Hillsboro, Inc. (dba Best One Tire & Service of Hillsboro; Todd Wilkin; and John Eckerd, defendants, the court concluded that motions by Wilkin and Eckerd to stay are "granted in part" and "denied as moot, in part."

"XPO's and Mid-America's motions to stay are "denied as moot."

Through his legal counsel in July, Wilkin asserted that a stay "was appropriate on three grounds: (1) that it was required under the Bankruptcy Code; (2) that it would promote judicial economy and avoid prejudice; and (3) that it was necessary to avoid impairing Wilkin's Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination."

According to the court, "This action is stayed in its entirety until the Bankruptcy Court lifts the automatic stays applicable to Adkins and Landash under 11 U.S.C. § 362(a).

Latest filings

The most recent filing on the Abington Emerson Capital, LLCs case was on Oct. 3, 2018: “(An) OPINION and ORDER granting 148 Plaintiff's Motion to Dissolve the Stay and granting 158 Defendant XPO's Motion for Leave to File (Instanter) Sur-Reply. Signed by Judge George C. Smith on 10/3/18. 10/05/2018 ORDER: Joint Proposed Scheduling Order due by 10/9/2018. Status Conference set for 10/11/2018 at 10 a.m. in Teleconference. Signed by Magistrate Judge Kimberly A. Jolson on 10/5/2018.”

In Kirby Developments LLC v. XPO Global Forwarding, Inc. et al., the latest filing was on Oct. 2, 2018: “RESPONSE in Opposition re 38 MOTION to Stay filed by Plaintiff Kirby Developments LLC. (Keegan, Sean) (Entered: 10/02/2018).

Kirby Developments LLC is one of several alleged "victims of defendants’ organized scheme to defraud companies and individuals out of millions of dollars through fraudulent off-the-road mining tire transactions," according to court records. "Beginning in October 2015, defendants fabricated fraudulent documents, made intentional misrepresentations, and otherwise conspired to defraud Kirby out of $6,691,000. Case: 2:18-cv-00500-GCS-KAJ Doc #1 Filed: May 21, 2018."

For more information, go to: