Don Marsh’s defense team continued to paint the picture of his expenses paid for by Marsh Supermarkets when he was company CEO as normal as the trial continued Thursday.
Marsh has been sued in United States District Court, Indianapolis, by Sun Equity Partners, the firm that bought Marsh Supermarkets in 2006. Sun Capital is seeking $3.3 million from Marsh, who countersued for $2 million of his $4.2 severance package when the company let him go.
Closing arguments were presented this morning with the case then going to the nine-person jury in Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s courtroom.
A sample of the expenses at question was shared by Indianapolis Business Journal. They include: $927,210 for nondeductible outings; $397,616 for professional organization costs: $625,776 for Marsh family travel expenses; $159,169 for cultural expenses that included hotel charges for Nadia Kovaraskaya, the head of a Russian ice ballet, who Marsh was having an admitted affair with; $315,415 in estate planning services; $120,640 in non-deductible credit card expenses including boots at an Alaskan boot store; $135,468 in other non-deductible expenses including wedding gifts; $64,871 in daily per-diem charges that Marsh is accused of collecting while also billing expenses to the company and $21,500 in cash advances that Marsh took for trips to places such as Cuba, where credit cards are not accepted.
Tax account Wayne Hoeing was called by the defense to raise doubts over a report prepared for Marsh Supermarkets that tallied the expenses thought to be personal according to the Indianapolis Star. He disagreed with the way tax law was applied.
Marsh Supermarket’s former corporate controller Mark Varner explained he had no problems with Don Marsh’s expenses but also noted Marsh himself approved them, not Varner. Also Steve May, the former company director of internal control, believed there were problems with the way executives submitted expense reports. May testified that according to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act accounting regulations for public companies, there were “significant deficiencies” in the internal control system.
Former company board of directors members were questioned as well. They appeared to have little knowledge of Don Marsh’s expenses said Indianapolis Star reporter Carrie Ritchie. One of the former directors J. Michael Blakely confirmed that the board did not know the cost of Don Marsh’s trips or that is was using the company plane to see mistresses in New York City and Tennessee. Former company President David Marsh, Don Marsh’s son, was grilled on his expenses on Thursday.