WINCHESTER — Attorneys for a wholesale oil distributor want a judge to approve a summary judgment against a former employee who allegedly stole more than $3 million from the company.
In a motion filed in Clark Circuit Court, attorneys say that Apollo Oil LLC of Winchester is entitled to a $3.16 million judgment without a jury trial against Bradley E. Taylor.
Apollo Oil, one of the largest lubricant companies in the United States, alleges in a civil lawsuit filed last year that Taylor "engaged in various activities to defraud" the firm.
Taylor, 37, was employed by Apollo from May 2000 through September 2014. He held various roles there, including operations manager. His responsibilities during his tenure included managing inventory levels, working with the warehouse and off-site personnel, and reviewing bills of lading and invoices.
At numerous times during his employment, Taylor "caused false bills of lading to be delivered to Apollo Oil for delivery of products never received" by the company, the suit says.
Apollo paid the invoices with checks, and Taylor "cashed the checks for his personal use," the suit says.
This was discovered in August 2014, when Apollo Oil employees began reviewing inventory discrepancies. Apollo Oil contacted the FBI, and during that investigation, Taylor admitted his theft, the lawsuit says.
Through the course of this "dishonest conduct," Taylor converted $3,161,931.33 belonging to Apollo for his own use, the suit says.
The suit alleges that Taylor formed a company called BCW LLC, but that "shell company" didn't conduct any legitimate business. No such company with Taylor as an officer is listed on the Kentucky Secretary of State website.
In any case, the lawsuit says Taylor ordered products for Apollo's use "when, in fact, he knew the selling company was his own shell company and no such product would actually be delivered."
In his response to the suit, Taylor acknowledged "that he has admitted theft," but he denies that he converted more than $3 million belonging to Apollo for his own personal use.
No criminal charges or indictments have been filed in the case in Clark County or in federal court in Lexington, even though Apollo Oil alleges theft by deception in its lawsuit.
"I know that the U.S. attorney's office has done a very thorough investigation, and they'll bring the case once they feel it's the appropriate time," said Adam Back, a Lexington attorney representing Apollo Oil. "I don't know if that has concluded at this point."
The suit also alleges that Taylor breached his fiduciary duty "by using his position at Apollo Oil to acquire funds belonging to Apollo Oil and using those funds for himself."
Clark Circuit Judge William Clouse granted partial summary judgment to Apollo on liability in March. That means the judge found Taylor liable, but the amount of damages hasn't been determined in a judgment, Back said.
The summary judgment sought by Apollo's attorneys is a means of obtaining a court decision without resorting to a trial by jury. Such judgments are sought when the opposing parties agree on the key facts in the dispute.
The motion had been scheduled to be heard Tuesday in Clark Circuit Court but was postponed.
Taylor also was a co-owner of Neely Taylor Wade Insurance, which has offices in Winchester and Lexington.
The company still goes by Neely Taylor Wade, but Taylor is no longer listed as an agent in the "about us" page on the company's website.
Apollo Oil provides oils and other products from Valvoline, Shell, Castrol and other manufacturers to car dealerships, quick-lube stores, trucking companies and factories.
The company began in the 1970s as a small gas station in Camargo in neighboring Montgomery County, then it grew into a major lubricants company.
It moved to Winchester in 1988. Apollo Oil now has locations in Louisville; Madisonville; Nitro, W.Va.; and Columbus, Ohio.