Courtroom drama features local names



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Steven Hilbert Hilbert

Steve Hilbert

A bitter fight between former business partners and friends Steve Hilbert and John Menard spilled into the public after Menard won a court order removing Hilbert as manager of MH Private Equity.

Menard, founder of the hardware store chain, said the value of the companies Hilbert bought had plummeted.

Hilbert, the former CEO of insurance giant Conseco Inc., countered that Menard only got upset after he propositioned Hilbert’s wife, Tomisue, and she refused.

There are now 11 pending lawsuits related to the dispute between Menard and Hilbert, including one with the wife of real estate investor Donald Trump.
 

marsh-don-mug Marsh

Don Marsh

A court battle between Marsh Supermarkets Inc. and former CEO Don Marsh ended in February, when a federal jury returned a $2.2 million judgment against him.

Marsh Supermarkets filed a civil lawsuit in 2009, claiming he charged the company for travels with mistresses.

His attorneys insisted the trips were business-related and within the bounds of his employment contract. Marsh countersued, saying the company wrongfully halted severance payments.

Jury members found Marsh committed fraud, but stopped short of delivering the company a total victory.
 

Bales Bales

John Bales

A federal jury in February returned not-guilty verdicts on 13 counts against Indianapolis real estate broker John M. Bales and attorney William E. Spencer.

The verdict followed an eight-day trial in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in South Bend that included references to an investigation of former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi. In October, U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett announced his office would not pursue charges against Brizzi.

Bales and Spencer were accused of wire, mail and bank fraud, stemming from deals involving a state-leased office building in Elkhart.
 

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