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A federal jury has ordered Don Marsh to pay $2.2 million after finding in favor of Marsh Supermarkets’ lawsuit charging its former CEO used the company as his “personal checkbook.”
The Indianapolis-based grocery chain sued Marsh, 75, accusing him of defrauding the company of millions of dollars to finance lavish vacations and buy expensive gifts for friends and family, according to published reports. Jurors in the two-week trial reached the verdict after about six hours of deliberations.
In closing arguments last week, an attorney for the grocer argued that Marsh should be ordered to repay at least $7 million of the millions of dollars in company money he allegedly wasted during his last six years as CEO.
Marsh said the lawsuit was an effort to tarnish his reputation. His attorney, Andrew McNeil, argued that the company’s board knew of Marsh’s spending and that his actions didn't violate the company policies or his contract, according to published reports. McNeil argued that Sun Capital Partners, the company that bought Marsh Supermarkets in 2006 and dismissed Marsh as CEO, was trying to use “different rules that didn't exist at the time Don Marsh was there.”
Company attorney David Herzog noted that Marsh testified that he didn’t believe he fell under the company’s code of conduct as CEO, according to published reports.