Brian Flynn’s former business associate at his manufacturing company is being sued in civil court for fraud and civil conspiracy stemming from his involvement in a company he helped lead before being recruited to work with Flynn.
Douglas Constable, who was CEO of AccuMED while Brian Flynn was the manufacturing company’s President, was formerly the Vice-President of Vent Tech, a North Carolina-based medical manufacturing company. The former majority shareholder of Ven Tech, Greg Lau, filed a lawsuit against Constable, his wife, and two others in a North Carolina court in 2014 that accuses Constable of draining the company of millions of dollars.
The suit had yet to be resolved.
Brian Flynn is one of seven candidates competing in New York’s 19th District democratic primary. The winner will take on Republican Rep. John Faso in November’s mid-term elections.
As well as being former co-workers at AccuMED, Flynn worked for Constable at Outcome Solutions, a company Constable described as mostly being involved in consulting work.
Flynn received $479,000 in “Business income/consulting fees” in 2016 from Outcome Solutions — more than he received that year for being President of AccuMED — and $90,000 in 2017, according to his financial disclosure.
Outcome Solutions is named in the 2014 lawsuit as being one of the companies Constable used to drain Ven Tech of cash.
However, the lawsuit alleges Constable’s defrauding of Ven Tech stopped at the end of 2012 when the company was sold, more than three years before Flynn was paid by Outcome Solutions.
Constable also contributed the maximum allowable amount — $5,400 — to Flynn’s campaign in 2017, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Flynn said he knew of a “dispute” between Constable and Lau, but said he was totally unaware of the ongoing lawsuit. Flynn also had absolutely no involvement with Ven Tech, and did not know Constable when the man was helping run the company, he said.
He also said it was “perfectly reasonable” for him to receive a campaign contribution from Constable, as they are friends and former co-workers.
The lawsuit has not yet been resolved, and Constable’s accusations are merely claims. There have been absolutely no criminal charges filed in relation to Ven Tech or Outcome Solutions. Criminal charges are filed by the state and have a higher standard for being submitted than civil charges, which anyone can file.
Commercial lawsuits are common, Flynn said.
“It wouldn’t go into consideration (when figuring out) whether I’d work with someone, whether they’re subject to a commercial lawsuit,” he said. “That would be quite damning, that without any judgement, that I would say, ‘oh, I’m not working with you because you’ve got a commercial dispute with someone.’”
Constable and a co-defendant, Robert Martin, Vent Tech’s president, allegedly funneled millions from the company while Lau, the company’s majority shareholder, was overseas tending to the Chinese arm of the business, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit claims Constable used various means to illicitly receive the millions from the company, including improperly directing company money to personal accounts, directing payments from Vent Tech to a made-up company and pocketing the funds, and the “outright theft of funds” from Lau’s accounts, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit also claims Jennifer Constable, Constable’s wife and a co-defendant in the case, charged more than $1.3 million on an American Express Card for vacations, landscaping and luxury items that was paid by the company, according to the complaint.
Additionally, “Defendant Constable and Defendant Martin wrongfully directed Company funds to other entities owned or controlled by Defendants,” according to the complaint, including Outcome Solutions — the company Flynn received a half-million dollars from in 2017, according to Flynn’s financial disclosure forms — though this was over three years after the alleged wrongdoings ended.
In Constable’s response to the allegations, filed March 12 in Forsyth Superior Court, he pleads the fifth (the constitutional amendment against self-incrimination) to part or all of every single claim, but denies his wife was involved.
In Jennifer Constable’s response, filed the same day, she denies most of the allegations, and defends herself by stating Lau, the allegedly defrauded plaintiff “actually participated in the very conduct now complained of and conduct of a similar nature or character,” according to her response.
Douglas Constable allegedly helped mis-state Vent Tech’s economic health to Lau to legitimize the alleged fraud. He allegedly did this to the extent Vent Tech was devalued before it was sold in December 2012, according to the complaint.
Douglas Constable, when reached by phone in North Carolina, called the lawsuit “totally unfounded” and said it had “no merit.”
“It’s sour grapes from a business partner of ours (Constable and his co-defendants) that feels like he should have gotten more money than he got when we sold the business, and [it’s] a five-year-old battle that’s gone nowhere,” he said.
Constable said he first met Flynn at a friend’s daughter’s wedding in December of 2013, a year after Ven Tech was sold.
His involvement with Ven Tech pre-dates any relationship with Flynn, he added.
Brian Flynn is one of seven candidates vying to be the Democratic Party’s nominate for the 19th Congressional District of New York, which encompasses the northern Hudson Valley, Catskills, and areas to the east and west of Albany.
The primary is June 26.