Former CFO of ThermoEnergy Seeking More Than $2M from Company

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Jul. 23, 2012 12:00 am  

Do you remember Andrew T. Melton, the former CFO who was fired in 2009 from the wastewater treatment technology company, ThermoEnergy Corp., for allegedly failing to remit payroll taxes?

Well, Melton recently sued his former employer, which moved its headquarters in September from Little Rock to Worcester, Mass. Melton claims he was stiffed on his salary and benefits.
Melton argued that ThermoEnergy owed him at least $2.2 million, according to his lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court. In March 2009, Melton’s salary was $275,000 annually, and the company provided him with other benefits such as $1,000 a month for a car allowance.

Melton also complained in the lawsuit that he was “personally subjected to the collection efforts of the IRS as a result of TEC’s failure to pay appropriate taxes.” Melton said in the lawsuit that ThermoEnergy should reimburse him for the expenses he had to pay in connection with the IRS coming after him.   

His complaint failed to mention, though, that ThermoEnergy conducted an investigation in 2009 and found that Melton had not paid company payroll taxes to the IRS or to the state of Arkansas since he became CFO in mid-2005. This, according to the company in 2009, was solely Melton’s responsibility.

As a result of the unpaid taxes, ThermoEnergy owed nearly $4.5 million in back taxes and interest.

We couldn’t reach Andrew Melton, and his attorney, Mark Peoples of Little Rock, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

A ThermoEnergy spokeswoman said the company had not seen the complaint as of last week and wouldn't comment on it even if it had. 

And if you were wondering if the change of scenery has improved ThermoEnergy’s financial situation, it hasn’t.

Publicly traded ThermoEnergy kept its streak alive of not turning a profit since its inception in 1988 by posting a loss of $17.3 million for 2011. In 2010, the loss was $14.86 million and in 2009, it was $12.98 million.

The trend continues with a loss of $1.58 million for the quarter that ended in March.



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