Icop Digital suspends operations
By SCOTT CANON
The Kansas City Star
Holiday 2010: The year shoppers came back GE Capital sells $2B Mexican mortgage portfolio Holiday weekend gas prices edge closer to $3 Buffett purchases Michigan auto part producer S&P removes H&R Block from its CreditWatch Negative Icop Digital suspends operations Housing permits still on the rise Lenexa-based Icop Digital suspends operations Gas pump prices rise above $3 BikeSource to add another Overland Park store Feds release $3 million to help Kansas aviation workers GM recalls almost 100,000 vehicles IRS delays next year's filing season for taxpayers who itemize Standard & Poor's removes H&R Block from watch list KC housing starts running 10 percent ahead of 2009 Stocks flat ahead of economic reports Holiday sales dramatically better than last year BATS Global Markets looks to expand in Europe Walgreen profits soar as store remodeling pays off The Consumer Memo | Government upgrades inquiry into Ford minivan Lenexa’s Icop Digital Inc., a company headed by former Kansas lieutenant governor Dave Owen, has suspended operations while it seeks investment, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week.
Owen, contacted briefly at company headquarters Thursday, declined to comment.
In its SEC filing, Icop said that “we do not have adequate cash to meet our Dec. 31, 2010, payroll.” A photo on the company’s website shows a staff of about 40 people.
“We must lay off our entire staff,” the company told the SEC.
The filing said Icop’s executives and key employees will continue to work without pay while the company searches for investment “or until we determine that such financing is not available.”
Company officials can’t be confident that Icop will find that money, and the loss of employees and sales could doom the business, it acknowledged in the SEC filing.
Icop, launched in 2002, specialized in digital surveillance equipment to law
enforcement domestically and overseas. But in its SEC statement, Icop said that “we have a history of negative cash flow and losses from operations” that forced it to rely on investors and debt financing to make ends meet.
“However,” Icop told federal regulators, “we do not project that we can operate at a break-even level without a substantial increase in sales revenues.”
In November, the company said it had retained Merriman Capital to help raise money and explore other business opportunities.
The 72-year-old Owen has run the company with its president, Laura Owen. She is the former Laura Nicholl, who was the first woman to serve as the commerce secretary of Kansas.
The two wed shortly before Dave Owen served about six months in federal prison in 1994. He was sentenced to a year and a day for failing to report $100,000 in consulting firm income on a 1986 federal tax return. Even after conviction, he insisted he was innocent. President Bill Clinton pardoned him of the conviction just before leaving office in early 2001.
Owen was a fundraiser for the 1988 presidential campaign of Sen. Bob Dole but stepped aside amid an investigation of the campaign and the business dealings of Dole’s wife, former transportation secretary and later U.S. senator Elizabeth Dole.
During that probe, Owen said the Doles didn’t know that a blind trust belonging to Elizabeth Dole planned to sell an Overland Park building to a former Dole aide. But in 1996, Owen recanted, saying Bob Dole was aware of the deal. Dole denied it.
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