Printer’s bankruptcy to be scrutinized for possible fraud

Tech Valley Printing’s court-appointed trustee has received a federal judge’s approval to investigat

Tech Valley Printing’s court-appointed trustee has received a federal judge’s approval to investigate possible fraudulent transfers between the defunct printer and a competitor in Utica.

Six months after a group of creditors forced Tech Valley into U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Albany, the case’s Chapter 7 trustee is preparing to interview Alan Goldberg, owner of Dodge Printing in Utica. Goldberg also is a minority shareholder in the Watervliet printer, which closed in February.

Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Littlefield earlier this month approved Chapter 7 Trustee Marc Ehrlich’s July request to examine Goldberg and get a “better understanding of the interactions between Dodge Printing and Tech Valley Printing.” In the court motion, Ehrlich said he is “uncertain as to whether the allegations of transfers constitute avoidable fraudulent conveyances under the Bankruptcy Code.”

Ehrlich has already questioned Tech Valley owner John Smith, and he plans to soon question Goldberg with Jennifer Clark, the attorney representing the Graphics Communications International Union Employer Retirement Fund in City of Industry, Calif. Ehrlich would not comment on whether federal authorities have become involved in the case.

“We don’t know if they shifted money, accounts, inventory. That’s what we’re trying to find out,” Ehrlich said.

Goldberg attorney Christian Dribusch did not immediately return a call.

The California labor fund is also suing Dodge in U.S. District Court in Albany for more than $20,000 in unpaid benefit contributions, interest and damages. Both Dodge and Tech Valley had collective bargaining agreements with Graphics Communications International Union Local 259.

Tech Valley abruptly closed in February, leaving more than 50 people out of work and Capital Region publications scrambling to find a new printer. The closure prompted Tech Valley customer Want Ad Digest in Brunswick to move the printing of its classified magazine to Dodge.

After Tech Valley closed, a group of creditors forced it into Chapter 7 liquidation. NBT Bank auctioned off most of Tech Valley’s equipment in April, netting about $1 million, Ehrlich said.

Tech Valley’s demise marked a dramatic reversal for the printer, whose work force had tripled between 2002 and 2006 to 130 employees. Most of that growth was fueled by the acquisition of competitors in Johnstown, Schenectady and Clifton Park.

Categories: Business

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