United States District Court, D. Minnesota
C. Conard, JOHN C. CONARD PLLC, Alexander C. Kopplin, WARD
KOPPLIN, PLLC, and Daniel R. Burgess, BURGESS LAW, LLC, for
defendant Jerome C. Ruzicka.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. TUNHEIM, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
Jerome Ruzicka, W. Jeffrey Taylor, Lawrence Miller, and
Lawrence Hagen are standing trial in connection with the
alleged embezzlement of funds from Starkey Laboratories.
Ruzicka was the President of Starkey. In 2006, Ruzicka and
Defendant Scott Nelson created Northland Hearing Centers,
Inc., and transferred retail hearing aid stores to it from
Northland LLC, a company owned by Starkey's CEO and
majority shareholder, Bill Austin. They allegedly did so
without Austin's knowledge or approval. As part of the
transaction, Ruzicka and Nelson issued 100, 000 shares of
stock in Northland Hearing, granting 49 percent to Starkey
and 51 percent to themselves and a third executive. In 2013,
Ruzicka and Nelson allegedly caused Northland Hearing to
purchase their stock, again allegedly without Austin's
knowledge. Ruzicka has now issued a subpoena to
Starkey requiring disclosure of certain documents that were
prepared annually for the two trustees of Northland
Hearing's Employee Stock Ownership Plan - Ruzicka and
Austin - and moved the Court to order Starkey to comply.
Because the documents are relevant and admissible and Ruzicka
has identified them with adequate specificity, the Court will
order Starkey to disclose them.
November 27, 2017, Ruzicka served a series of subpoenas duces
tecum on Starkey, which Starkey moved to quash. (Sealed First
Decl. of David B. Olsen ¶ 2, Ex. A at 2, Dec. 1, 2017,
Docket No. 213; Sealed Mot. to Quash, Dec. 1, 2017, Docket
No. 211.) As relevant here, Ruzicka requested “[t]he
business valuations report of Starkey and Northland performed
annually by Chartwell for the years 2004-present.”
(See Sealed Order at 4, Dec. 13, 2017, Docket No.
229.) At the hearing on the motion, Magistrate Judge Franklin
Noel stated that Ruzicka's argument “clearly
suggested” that “he has in mind specific
documents that he can identify that might meet these
standards but has failed to do so in the subpoenas as they
are drafted.” (Dec. 7 Hr'g Tr. at 49:3-14, Jan. 3,
2018, Docket No. 289.) Thus, the Magistrate Judge granted
Starkey's motion to quash with regard to the request for
the Chartwell reports. (Sealed Order at 11.)
February 4, 2018, Ruzicka served another subpoena duces tecum
on Starkey seeking the same valuation reports, but providing
additional details about them. (Decl. of John C. Conard
¶ 2, Ex. 1 at 2-3, Feb. 5, 2018, Docket No. 339.)
Specifically, Ruzicka's subpoena seeks to compel
production of the following documents:
1. 2005 Chartwell certification.
2. 2006 Chartwell valuation report and certification.
3. 2007 Chartwell valuation report and certification.
4. 2008 Chartwell certification.
5. 2009 Chartwell valuation report and certification.
6. 2010 Chartwell certification.
7. 2011 Chartwell valuation report and certification.
8. 2012 Chartwell valuation report and ...