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Founders of Oklahoma City's Express Employment Professionals settle legal battle

Bob Funk and William Stoller co-founded Express Employment Professionals. 

Express CEO and Chairman Robert Funk and Express co-founder William Stoller announced the settlement in a joint statement Thursday.

Court records show that the lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial March 18 in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City. The lawsuit was closed Thursday.

As part of the settlement, Funk will continue as chairman and CEO of Express, and Stoller will continue as vice chairman and also will take on the role of president and chairman of the executive committee. The remaining terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“While details are remaining private at the mutual request of both parties, the fact of the matter is the settlement ensures management continuity and continuation of the growth strategies that have produced record-setting sales revenue performance the past four years,” Funk and Stoller said in the statement.

Why the suit was filed

Stoller sued Funk in 2010, alleging Funk had diverted more than $134 million from Express Services for personal use. Among the claims, Stoller alleged Funk used Express as a guarantor for a loan to finance his $85.5 million purchase of a working cattle ranch in Cimarron, N.M., without approval of Stoller or the company’s directors. The lawsuit was dismissed and then refiled in 2011, asking that Funk be removed as CEO and that missing funds be returned or promissory notes be issued. Stoller also wanted to be named CEO and chairman of the company.

Funk and Stoller said in the statement they are both pleased the lawsuit has been settled and expressed excitement about the company’s future.

“The lawsuit never affected the performance of the company as Mr. Funk and Mr. Stoller both recognized the importance of making sure the company offered a broad range of services and programs at a time of a high unemployment to help people find jobs and companies create workforce,” the statement said.

Reported by the Oklahoman



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