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Judge rules against i-3 Global in one of three lawsuits

A Benton County Superior Court judge has issued a decision against a Kennewick company in one of its three pending lawsuits.

And the state Department of Labor and Industries has found i-3 Global owes more than $18,000 in unpaid wages to eight former employees.

The business and its president, Kristopher Lapp, came under fire this spring with the lawsuits and a tax warrant totaling nearly $2 million.

Providing technology, multimedia and staffing services to federal and commercial clients, i-3 Global was celebrated as U.S. Department of Energy’s Protégé of the Year for fiscal year 2016.

Judge Cameron Mitchell ruled in favor of Integrated Global Staffing, saying i-3 Global must pay $446,000 plus interest, following an order of default against the company and Lapp.

Integrated Global Staffing said i-3 Global failed to make good on contracts and alleged Lapp “fraudulently spent, misappropriated, and/or diverted money from i-3 Global’s general contractor, (Mission Support Alliance), for his own personal benefit rather than on Integrated Global’s invoices,” according to court documents.

The order included pre-judgment interest of about $6,000, plus daily interest since May 22 at a rate of $146 a day.

The attorney for IGS did not respond to requests for comment.

The state Department of Labor and Industries investigated complaints from eight former i-3 Global workers who claimed they were collectively owed $20,788 in unpaid wages, reimbursement for bad checks and unauthorized deductions.

The state determined the actual amount owed is $18,046 for hours worked mostly in April 2019. For two findings, the wages and deductions covered time worked as far back as December 2018. The lowest amount due to a single former employee or subcontractor was $345 and the highest amount owed was $5,847.

“Every worker in our state should get paid the amount of money owed them for the work they do. We help honest workers and businesses by cracking down on dishonest ones. The vast majority of employers do the right thing. Out of the more than three million people employed at more than 200,000 businesses in the state, we received 6,213 wage complaints in 2018. We investigate every one under the Wage Payment Act,” said Matt Erlich, Labor and Industries spokesman.

Labor and Industries issued a “Notice of Assessment” for the eight cases July 19, requiring i-3 Global to pay the owed wages.

An appeal must be filed within 30 days.

The $44,000 tax warrant filed against i-3 Global by the state Department of Revenue was paid in full in July.

Lapp and his company face two other lawsuits, which are scheduled to be heard in Benton County Superior Court in the spring. One was filed by Columbia State Bank for $883,000 to cover a line of credit taken out in fall 2017. E2 Consulting Engineers sued for $515,000 in unpaid wages to employees who contracted with i-3 Global.

Lapp has filed for personal bankruptcy, citing debts of $2.7 million in secured and unsecured claims and assets just under $1 million.

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