Mining firm sues former executive | NevadaAppeal.com

Mining firm sues former executive

Becky Bosshart

For about 20 years, Steve Parent, former chairman and chief executive of GoldSpring precious metals company, managed the exploration and development of mining projects, including a pit and processing mill in Gold Hill, about 15 miles east of Carson City.

Now Parent is fighting allegations from the company he founded that accuse him of racketeering, fraud, negligence and theft.

Parent said in a brief telephone interview Friday that these are all allegations, and he referred any questions to his lawyer.

The lawsuit was filed Nov. 9 in the Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County. GoldSpring is based in Scottsdale, Ariz. The eight-page complaint accuses Parent of a fraudulent asset purchase involving a Nevada corporation, a bogus consulting agreement and more than $300,000 in unauthorized personal charges on the company’s accounts.

John Hay, a Phoenix attorney representing Parent, said he will respond to the lawsuit after he takes a deposition from one GoldSpring officer. Hay said his response will probably come in mid-December.

“We intend to deny most of the facts in the complaint,” Hay said Friday. “It’s our position that it just didn’t happen that way. He (Parent) acted perfectly properly in forming the transaction by which GoldSpring started to function. And he acted properly since then in his activities on behalf of GoldSpring. There’s no damage for the plaintiff to recover.”

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Lisa Boksenbaum, general counsel for GoldSpring, said Parent resigned as chief executive in September because of personal reasons.

“He wanted to spend more time with family,” she said.

Parent is still on the company’s board of directors. In his place, GoldSpring named Chief Financial Officer Robert Faber as president and chief executive on Sept. 9.

Boksenbaum said the lawsuit against Parent is still in the discovery stage.

According to the lawsuit, Parent organized a deal for GoldSpring to purchase all of the assets of Ecovery, a Nevada corporation, which included the Gold Canyon and Spring Valley gold placer mining claims. At the time, Parent was also the chief executive, board chairman and largest shareholder of Ecovery. The deal closed in June 2003.

Parent allegedly relinquished the two mining claims to Harlesk Nevada Inc., the prior owner of the two claims, in April 2003. When the GoldSpring/Ecovery sale closed three months later, the Gold Canyon and Spring Valley claims were no longer part of the deal.

GoldSpring alleges that Parent didn’t disclose to GoldSpring that this had occurred. The lawsuit also says that GoldSpring issued 99 million shares of its stock to Ecovery shareholders in exchange for its assets, and Parent received about 45 million of those.

According to the lawsuit, Parent also diverted 24 million stock shares to three men who were contracted as consultants, but allegedly did not provide any consultant services. GoldSpring called this arrangement “shams, intended to directly or indirectly benefit each of the defendants.”

The company also alleges Parent took more than $300,000 from corporate accounts for personal use and destroyed files on his company computer prior to resigning.

Other defendants in the Parent lawsuit: Ron Haswell, Walter Doyle, Seth Shaw, the three consultants; Antonio Treminio, a former officer of GoldSpring; and Ecovery. Arizona is a community property state, so all the defendants’ wives are also named in the lawsuit.

Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.