Assistant fire chief, wife accused of fraud - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Assistant fire chief, wife accused of fraud involving weight loss clinic

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JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) – A lawsuit has been filed accusing the Jeffersonville assistant fire chief and his wife of fraud and breach of contract.

The suit, filed by Neal Harding, a prominent businessman in Jeffersonville, claims he was introduced to Elizabeth Thompson and Assistant Fire Chief Josh Thompson by Jeffersonville Fire Chief Erik Hedrick.

The Thompson's were owners and proprietors of weight loss clinics in Indianapolis that promoted Target Metabolism.

After several discussions and financial reviews the lawsuit states on November 18, 2012 the Thompsons "agreed to sell Harding the business opportunity to purchase stock and a securities interest" to Harding.

From November 8, 2012 to March 18, 2013 Harding issued eight checks, totaling $420,000, to invest in Target Metabolism. All eight checks were either made out directly to the couple or an entity the couple had sole control over.

Days after securing the last checks from Harding the suit states the Thompsons filed for personal bankruptcy and have since failed and refused to provide financial information showing where Harding's funds were spent.

At 12:30 a.m. Friday Elizabeth Thompson released the following statement to WAVE 3 News;

"I have at all times dealt openly and honestly with Mr. Harding and his business partner, who are sophisticated businessmen. This includes providing them all financial statements, bank records, and receipts showing how every penny of their funds were applied to a start-up business as they directed. I and my family did not benefit in any manner whatsoever from Mr. Harding's investments and have also suffered great financial losses due to this business relationship.

Mr. Harding and his partner breached their end of the agreements which caused the businesses to fail. Instead of communicating with us in a forthright manner and coming to a reasonable conclusion, Mr. Harding and his attorney, Mr. Wilder, have chosen to use the court and the media to help spread lies, defame my reputation and my husband's reputation as a public servant, and support their bully pulpit. My husband and I will swiftly counter-sue Mr. Harding for defamation and other damages caused by Mr. Harding and related parties."

In the suit, Harding asks for triple damages, in addition to a jury trial and attorney fees.

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