Tire Business staff report
NEW YORK (May 24, 2013) — Tire Supply of New Jersey L.L.C. has denied any involvement in a dispute Inter City Tire & Auto Center Inc. has with Michelin North America Inc. and Service Tire Truck Centers Inc. (STTC) that led to a lawsuit over claims of a corruption scheme and unfair competition.
Tire Supply, based in the Bronx, was mentioned in the lawsuit under claims that former Michelin employees who allegedly were involved in a complicated scheme to sell discounted tires had held an interest in the business.
But Tire Supply Owner Stephen Picciocchi said he is the sole owner in the small tire dealership, that there are no other ownership interests in his business and he denied all the claims of his business' involvement in the case.
"There are no facts. It's all fabrication and unsupported claims," he told Tire Business.
In the lawsuit filed April 23 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Elizabeth, N.J.-based Inter City said it uncovered a scheme involving former Michelin sales executives who allegedly used shell corporations to divert discounted tires intended for national fleet accounts and resell them to its competitors while funneling kickbacks to themselves.
The lawsuit alleges Michelin and/or Bethlehem, Pa.-based STTC violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, among other commerce laws, in addition to fraud and breach of contract.
Michelin declined comment other than to state that two "rogue" employees were terminated. STTC has denied all claims in the suit.
Michelin has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina seeking to terminate Michelin's dealer agreement with Inter City because the dealership allegedly breached the agreement.