Suarez Corporation Industries, an Ohio based Telemarketing Company filed for federal bankruptcy protection this week claiming to owe $10 to $50 million in debt, and owning $500,000 to $1 million in assets. SCI was started in 1970 by Ben Suarez who started the fledgling Direct Marketing Company from his home. Through direct marketing of a wide array of products including jewelry, coins, and household products, the company eventually rose to become a successful company with $100 million in annual revenue.
Suarez blamed the Ohio bankruptcy of SCI to a witness tampering conviction in June of 2014, in which Suarez made campaign contributions while seeking politicians’ assistance in fighting a California consumer practices a complaint. Suarez argues that he didn’t know it was illegal to reimburse contributors, and was ultimately acquitted of the charges relating to that matter. Suarez still spent 15 months in prison for witness tampering. The conviction was based on Suarez attempting to influence the grand jury testimony of a former SCI employee. According to Suarez, the economic down turn dealt a significant blow to Suarez Corporation Industries as well and has “not been able to financially recover from the significant expense and major distractions of the…federal investigation and indictments”
By filing Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy, SCI will be able to continue its operations while they deal with a wave of creditor lawsuits and work to pay back their debts. The landlord for SCI’s headquarters in North Canton, OH are seeking more than $1.8 million dollars for back rent and utilities. Additionally several other lawsuits have been filed against the company for unpaid bills while Suarez was serving his sentence.
Suarez believes the Chapter 11 bankruptcy will put the company back into a profitable state and that the bankruptcy protection will allow the company to reorganize and come back better than ever.