OrderTrust Shuttered

Jun 27, 2001 9:30 PM  By

OrderTrust

, a direct marketing services provider based in Lowell, MA, has ceased operations and terminated approximately 60 employees.

A small staff remains on board until the dispostion of current clients has been resolved. The company had lost approximately $45 million last year, said founder Thomas J. Litle, who came out of semi-retirement in January to resume the role of CEO when the company discovered a $10 million discrepancy in its finances.

“At that time, we were facing major challenges with Product Market Place, one of our strategically critical services,” he said in a statement. After losses associated with the service proved to be insurmountable, it was discontinued. Product Market Place was an online merchandise sourcing service.

“As the facts became known to us over the last few months, we sought every possible remedy, but we could not resolve enough of those liabilities to attract investment and to continue doing business,” Litle said. “Had we known the full extent of those hurdles in January, we would certainly have acted differently at the time, and would have advised our key investors accordingly.”

Litle said the company will not file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization but hinted that some of the services it provided may reappear at some point.

Litle is a minority investor in OrderTrust. He founded the company in 1995 and had served as chairman for the last three years.