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Bank to pay $5.5 million to bankrupt stonecutter

Heather Cole//May 4, 2011//

Bank to pay $5.5 million to bankrupt stonecutter

Heather Cole//May 4, 2011//

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A bankrupt stonecutting business will keep operating and finish a move and expansion with money from a settlement with First Community Bank.

Tim and Deborah Crede, the owners of Missouri Ledge, a stonecutting company, sued the bank and two executives after the bank declined to loan more money while the business was in the middle of a move and expansion.

The bank, Chief Executive Jack Fields, and Higginsville Branch Manager Don Knehans last month agreed to settle the lawsuit for $5.2 million in cash and $300,000 in debt forgiveness. The money will keep Missouri Ledge running and allow it to finish its expansion and move to buildings in Lexington from Oak Grove, said Crede’s attorney, John M. Edgar, of the Edgar Law Firm in Kansas City.

The bank and executives concluded their interests were “best served” by settling to avoid the expense and risk of continued litigation, said defense attorney Kent Sullivan, of Stinson Morrison Hecker in Kansas City.

“My clients rejected the plaintiffs’ allegations and believed that all commitments made to them were honored,” Sullivan said, reading a prepared statement.

The case, filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, is Tim J. Crede d/b/a Missouri Ledge and Deborah Crede d/b/a Missouri Ledge v. First Community Bank, Jack T. Fields and Don Knehans, 0916-CV29993.

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