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John Hewitt, Liberty TaxReports have accused former Liberty Tax CEO John Hewitt of being overheard having sex in his office. Now a suit by a pension fund, claiming the executives behavior has violated his fiduciary duties to shareholders, claims Hewitt had romantic relationships with 10 employees.

The Asbestos Works Philadelphia Pension Fund seeks real and punative damages to be paid to itself and the company because of the impact of Hewitt's alleged actions. The company has declined to comment on personnel matters and newpaper reports say they have not been able to obtain comment from Hewitt's lawyer. 

The fund filed the suit this month in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, claiming Hewitt is effectively running the company through his control of the company's Class B shares. Hewitt was fired in September, but in November used his share ownership to replace two mmbers of the board of directors.

Meanwhile, two other directors and the company's CFO resigned after that action, while long-time auditor, KPMG, resigned saying it could no longer rely on management's assertions because of Hewitt's continued involvement after his firing.

The fund alleges that the current board is incapable of taking Hewitt to task. Its membership is comprised by his sister, a childhood best friend, and two area developers who are beholden to Hewitt for financial favors, the fund says.

The suit also alleges Hewitt has a history of self-interested behavior. The allegations that he had multiple romantic office relationships and favored the women involved appear to be coming from a report conducted during the summer by the law firm,Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. The fund claimed, "The investigation revealed wide-ranging misconduct by Hewitt, much of which has yet to see the light of day."

Among Hewitt's alleged actions include having the company sell a franchise to a romantic partner for no money down for four times its value and them had the company by it back at seven times the franchises' revenue, paying the woman $220,000 in cash and stock.

Hewitt was also accused of having the company make a loan to a prospective franchisee whose loan application had been denied by Liberty. According to the suit "Hewitt had exchanged emails in which the potential franchisee told Hewitt 'I love you' and 'I miss you.'"

Last modified on Friday, 29 December 2017
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