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UPDATE: Jury finds Don Marsh guilty of fraud, breach of employment agreement

UPDATE: A jury found Don Marsh guilty of fraud and breach of his employment agreement late Friday night, after more than six hours of deliberation.

Marsh was ordered to pay $2.2 million in restitution, in a civil lawsuit brought on by the company’s new owners. The jury found the former CEO made false statements to the company about money, committed fraud and caused damage to the company.

Marsh countered, saying the company submitted false income forms, but the jury denied his counterclaim.

The new owners of the supermarket chain wanted the former CEO to repay $7 million to the company.

Jury to decide Don Marsh’s fate Saturday

The civil trial of former Marsh Supermarkets CEO Don Marsh was expected to wrap up Friday, Feb. 15, but now the court proceedings have been postponed until Feb. 16.

Don and Marilyn Marsh walked out the door and down the steps of the federal courthouse.  Their next step will be waiting for a jury of nine to deliver its verdict in the former CEO’s civil case. That wait got a little longer.

The jury was given its instructions, then given the case around 5 p.m.  Late in the day Friday, federal judge Sarah Evans Barker continued the trial until Saturday.

During closing arguments, attorneys for the supermarket chain itemized Don Marsh’s alleged misuse of company money.  The attorneys said Marsh Supermarkets is owed $5.6 million.
Attorney for Marsh Supermarkets, David Herzog told jurors, “Mr. Marsh can’t be honest with himself, because the truth is too hard for him to swallow.”

The money includes trips on the company’s private jet to New York and Tennessee.  Flights to see two of his five mistresses, officials argue.  Marsh was in the air a lot:

“Is it a fact that you traveled so much you didn’t have time for real work?,” asked Herzog during the trial.

Marsh said no, “I worked that much.”

Marsh’s legal team contends he did not do anything wrong.  Attorney Andrew McNeil said flight records appeared in financial statements, and the money spent was approved. McNeil said Marsh was not hiding anything.

“It’s not even close,” McNeil told the jury.

The company says it wants its money back from the supermarket chain’s namesake.

“Mr. Marsh broke his contract,” said Herzog.  “He took what didn’t belong to him, and he took a lot.”

A jury will decide how much, if anything, gets paid back.  Along with the civil trial is a counter-suit.  Don Marsh wants $2 million paid back to him.  It’s money Marsh said the company never paid him after he was let go.

A decision on the counter-suit will come after the verdict in the civil case, expected first thing Saturday morning.

17 comments

  • Nancy

    At most this is just amusing. I knew and worked for Don Marsh back in the early 80's and this was just a way of life for Don and so there is no new revelation or scandal coming to light here. Funny, now at this late stage in the game he is "caught" is the irony here. He is from a differnet era and time, people and things were run dfferently back in his prime and he just didn't realize he couldn't keep it up without some problems these days.

  • Pennie

    I worked for this company also. I worked there for years. We had different managers about three times a year. So no one ever was doing anything right. But unlike other grocery stores we did not get a ham or turkey for Christmas, we got….a picture on a Christmas card with his family on vacation in the Alps or something. That was until he ran off with his gilrfriend and then we got a picture of his dog. Like we cared?

  • Brian

    I was rooting Mr Marsh on his bootie call trips and he lost. The Prez of the US is on a "man day" out with the boys for golfing while the family is touring. My question is ? Why do we tax payers have to pay over 1 Million dollars for the protection of the Prez and his family to have fun and to play golf, and Mr Marsh spends his own company money for a bootie call and has to pay it back. Who is really getting screwed in this picture?

    • DRT52

      Wasn't the problem was that he kept doing it after it wasn't his company anymore, and he was working for the new company?

    • Joe

      The president and his family get the same protection as president's have received for over 40 years. At least with Obama no on is running after his daughters as they drink, drug, and whore all over DC like the Bush girls did.

      • cjmo2662

        Ooh, ouch! Lol. The reason taxpayers have to pay for bodyguards for any and all Presidents & their families is assassination attempts. Since Kennedy was assassinated, other Presidents, like Ford and Reagan, for example, were shot at. Psychos are everywhere, & regardless of if you approve of Obama or not, we can't have an unguarded President.

        As for Don Marsh, why should the new owners pay for his booty calls?

      • Ferocious Alidocious

        First of all, the company was NEVER Don's to begin with, it was his Dad's (Ermal) and then it became publicly traded long before Don became the president (in the '50s, I think). Brian wanted to know who was getting screwed, the answer is THE STOCKHOLDERS and the dedicated EMPLOYEES. It wasn't HIS company's money, it was the stockholders' money and the employees' money, by way of lower wages/benefits due to immoral/illegal spending. The reason the board always looked the other way was because it was mostly comprised of Don's closest friends.
        @Nancy, please don't excuse Don's behavior by saying he's from a "different era", that is BS! He knew exactly what he was doing. If it's the era, then why didn't his brother, Alan, treat company money the same way Don did? Alan was from the same era and raised by the same people in the same house, etc.. Don truly didn't care about anyone other than himself.

  • John

    I think he should be charging them for using his name. The new owners have not kept the stores up, most of them are filthy, the employee's look like there were hand picked each morning from a group on a corner looking for day work. Since the family sold the chain, it has done nothing but go downhill except for the new one in Noblesville where the people with money live.

    • Marine57

      I have been a customer of the Marsh Grocery Store at Rockville road and Lynhurst for some 30 years. I have never seen their store in disarray or dirty. The crew is the friendliest of any grocery store I have ever shopped in.
      Angela is my favorite in the deli, Paula is my favorite in the bakery, Tina is my favorite in frozen goods, and Janet is my favorite in flowers.
      Thanks, ladies, for all your hard work in making Marsh a nice place for your customers to shop :=)

    • cjmo2662

      John- I've been to several Marsh stores since the new owners took over, and I've never noticed the filthy conditions you describe or the scruffy-looking employees you claim to see. What have you been smoking?

  • Marshemployee

    John–your statement was insulting. I work at Marsh. There are many workers there who are good dedicated workers trying to feed themselves and their family. Are you somehow above a retail job? I am glad you do not shop there. We do not need people like you there.

  • Former employee

    Too bad he wasn't ordered to pay back the full amount. I worked in their corporate office for years and watched as Don and his family looted the company for years and destroyed shareholder equity. Yes, Brian and John, it was a publically traded company and did not belong to Don or his fmaily even though they treated it as such.

    • Ferocious Alidocious

      I don't know why you say Don's "family" looted the company. That is simply NOT true! Don and David looted the company (mostly Don) and his kids benefited from the looting of the company, but not all of the Marshes are/were corrupt. Alan Marsh and Bill Marsh Jr. are/were both honest and moral. Actually, Bill STILL works there and Don threatened to have Alan killed because he NEVER went along with Don's agenda and always tried to expose it. Shame on you for your slander! I guess since you're a jerk, your whole family must be jerks too, right?

  • fred

    boy they never hear it all what don did all them years for his employee s like all the trips he gave away every year all the trips to see ball games all the trips two the five hundand all the nice retairment party s all the nice nice out standing rewards years of servies and how he treated his full time employee like they are someone boy we forget boy we all have no foughts least he amits his foughts sorry but don had alot of good people forget the good in people thanks don

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