Cooper Takes the Fifth in Roach Manufacturing Case

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Jul. 9, 2018 12:00 am   2 min read

The headquarters of Roach Manufacturing's conveyor facility in Trumann. (Google Maps)

Edward M. Cooper Jr., who is accused of embezzling more than $4.5 million from a client, has taken the Fifth in a civil court case filed by his former customer.

As of Tuesday, Cooper hadn’t been charged with a crime. But as you know, Roach Manufacturing Corp. of Trumann, a family-owned manufacturing company in Poinsett County, accused Cooper of embezzling the money over a decade in a civil suit filed in Craighead County Circuit Court.

Until recently, Cooper worked for the accounting firm Osborn & Osborn CPAs PLLC of Jonesboro, which is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

In his answer, when not relying on his constitutional right against self-incrimination, Cooper agreed with Roach that “Osborn & Osborn is liable for the conduct of Cooper inasmuch as he was acting within the course and scope of his employment at all times,” said the filing by Cooper’s attorney, Bill Stanley of the law firm Stanley & Woodard PLC of Jonesboro.

Osborn & Osborn fired back, denying any allegations of wrongdoing.

It also denied that it “has any liability or responsibility for the actions of defendant Cooper in stealing or embezzling funds from the plaintiff,” according to its answer filed by one of its attorneys, Gordon Rather Jr. of Wright Lindsey & Jennings LLP of Little Rock.

The accounting firm also denied that Cooper was “acting in the course and scope of his employment or agency with defendant Osborn & Osborn in stealing or embezzling funds from the plaintiff,” the filing said.

Cooper’s answer is sprinkled with him asserting “his Fifth Amendment privilege afforded to him by the United States Constitution.”

He said he had been the “exclusive accountant acting on behalf of Osborn & Osborn to provide Roach services for more than” 20 years, the filing said.

A court date hadn’t been set as of Thursday.



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