COLUMBIANA, Ohio — The details of a settlement reached between Witmer’s Feed and Grain and a former employee, Donald Curfman Jr., of Lisbon, and his wife, Bonnie, are beginning to surface.
The announcement was made Sept. 28 that a tentative settlement had been reached through mediation in a civil lawsuit filed in 2008, but the details were not released.
Michael J. McGee, an attorney for Witmer’s Feed and Grain, said Oct. 5 the deal has yet to be signed, but there is an agreement.
McGee said Curfman has agreed to sign over a great deal of his assets in return for the case to be dismissed. The total has not yet been determined because the assets have to be sold either privately or through an auction. McGee estimates he will have a total within six weeks.
The settlement calls for Curfman to sign over the insurance settlement he received from a fire that destroyed his house in May, along with the vacant property where the house stood in Lisbon.
In addition, Curfman has agreed to turn over a truck, tractor and other assets.
McGee said he expects both parties to sign the agreement within three weeks.
Also listed in the lawsuit is Belinda Ingledue and Richard Curfman, both of Minerva.
McGee said a decision has not been made on what will happen with the lawsuit concerning both Ingledue and Richard Curfman.
Curfman Jr. had worked at Witmer’s since 1993 and retired in March 2008. He served as the manager of Witmer’s Garfield Mill.
According to the lawsuit filed, Curfman is accused of issuing grain tickets to Ingledue without actually receiving any grain from her as part of a scheme to defraud Witmer’s. The alleged thefts are believed to have occurred from 2003 to 2007. The duo are alleged to have split proceeds totaling more than $900,000.
Grain ticketsCurfman is also accused of issuing fake grain tickets to himself between 2004 and 2008 and collecting more than $200,000 in compensation.
The lawsuit says that Witmer’s began questioning Donald Curfman Jr. about the grain shortage in November 2005 after a fake paper trail was allegedly created by Curfman to account for the grain transfers that never happened.
Curfman’s wife and brother were included in the lawsuit because they are believed to have known about the scheme.