Fred Brown says his involvement with Tejas Mitsubishi in Bryan was limited to the business' start-up.
As we reported Thursday, US Marshals seized property belonging to that business. That's because the state representative and two others are named in a civil suit, with Mitsubishi alleging the company was delinquent in payments.
On Monday, 34 vehicles and parts were taken by US Marshals from the Fred Brown Tejas Mitsubishi site in Bryan. According to co-owners Fred Bayliss and Jeff Grisham, they had recently shut down operations.
However, according to court documents, in addition to the seizure, Mitsubishi has filed a civil suit against the businesses owners, seeking $75,000 for breach of inventory financing and security agreement. It is alleged that the defendants failed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in advances on sales of Mitsubishi products.
Among those served by the courts are Bayliss and Grisham, along with Fred Brown, who is listed as a 24 percent owner of the company. Brown spoke from Austin Friday afternoon.
Asked if that 24 percent ownership is correct, Brown said, "I guess so. I mean, I have no idea. I never got any copies of any paperwork on anything on the corporation, other than I put the franchises together."
Brown says he merely helped Grisham and Bayliss get the company going, assisting with the franchises, but that he had never set foot inside the business.
Asked what his involvement is with Bayliss and Grisham today, Brown said, "There hasn't been any. I've never worked in the store. I have not been involved in the store at all."
A longtime businessman who has had his hands in a number of business ventures, Brown has also served multiple terms in the state House.
"The whole issue for me is if I had not been doing my state duties and had been concentrating on business, then maybe these businesses wouldn't be in this type of situation," Brown said.
Brown was also named in a civil suit regarding M&M Powersports, which had their assets seized last year. Brown says he had sold off all his involvement in the business, and that legal proceedings have been finished in that matter.