Court Calls for Seizure of AB&C Funds, Property

In the wake of a class action suit filed March 25 on behalf of workers laid off from AB&C Group’s Martinsburg (WV) facility, a Jefferson County Circuit judge this week signed an order calling for the seizure of funds and property of the recently closed company. The court wants the assets available to cover unpaid wages for laid off workers, according to the Herald-Mail, which serves Maryland, Pennyslvania, and West Virginia.

McLean, VA-based third-party fulfillment provider AB&C Group was the fulfillment arm for BlueSky Brands, the catalog holding company that closed up shop last month, but has yet to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to the Herald-Mail, the Jefferson County Circuit Court order, a court-appointed “special receiver” will assume control of property and funds in the mailing company’s Ranson, WV, and Martinsburg, WV locations.

As of March 31, workers had not received paychecks due to them March 14, the Herald-Mail says. A local attorney, Paul Taylor, told the Herald Mail that the court hasn’t ruled on whether the workers will be awarded money for wages, withheld benefits or other damages, but the seized property would preserve possible assets to be used if an award is granted.

Owned by Chicago-based private equity firm Reliant Equity Investors, BlueSky Brands in addition to AB&C Group included Paragon Gifts, Bits and Pieces, Bits and Pieces U.K., National Wildlife Direct, and Winterthur catalogs. Repeated calls to Reliant Equity Investors were not returned.