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BOULDER, Colo. - Natural and organic foods retailer Wild Oats Markets on Thursday disclosed a lawsuit filed by co-founders and former board members, Michael C. Gilliland and his wife, Elizabeth C. Cook, which claims that Wild Oats failed to pay them $2 million owed on a demand promissory note. The former CEO and his wife loaned the $2 million cash to the company in January 2001.
Wild Oats claims it has withheld payment on the note while attempting to resolve an ongoing dispute with Gilliland and Cook regarding the amount of certain accounts receivables owed by them to the company. The company maintains that the amount of the accounts receivable due from Gilliland and Cook should be resolved prior to the payment of the note, and offset against the amount paid under the note.
Gilliland and Cook founded Wild Oats in 1987. Cook served as executive vice president of the company until May 2001, and Gilliland stepped down from his position as CEO early in 2001. Both continued to serve on the company's board of directors until December 2001, when they resigned to diversify their stock portfolio.