Bank sues popular Tri-Cities businessman. Two lawsuits now total $1.3 million

Kris Lapp, owner of I-3 Global in Kennewick, receives the award for the Department of Energy’s Protege of the Year in 2017.
Kris Lapp, owner of I-3 Global in Kennewick, receives the award for the Department of Energy’s Protege of the Year in 2017. Courtesy Department of Energy

Financial lawsuits are mounting for a Tri-Cities businessman doing subcontracting work at Hanford.

Columbia State Bank says that i-3 Global Inc. of Kennewick and its president Kris Lapp owe it $883,000, according to a civil lawsuit filed Benton County Superior Court.

In late April i-3 Global and Lapp were sued for nearly $450,000 by Integrated Global, a technical services and consulting firm that says it didn’t get paid for services it provided at the Hanford nuclear reservation on behalf of i-3 Global.

Lapp is well known in the Tri-Cities business community and for his public involvement, including serving on the Columbia Basin College Foundation board and on Richland’s economic development committee.

Earlier this year, he also applied for a vacancy on the Kennewick City Council but was not chosen.

Lapp did not immediately respond to a message left at i-3 Global on Monday about the lawsuits.

Lawsuit says loan overdue

Columbia State Bank said it agreed in October 2017 to loan i-3 Global up to $1.2 million, starting with $700,000.

The $883,200 listed in the lawsuit includes about $856,000 for the loan, in addition to interest and appraisal fees. Interest is continuing to accrue on the unpaid loan at a variable rate currently at $280 a day, according to the lawsuit.

The loan was due to be paid back with interest on Nov. 5, 2018. Instead, Columbia State Bank agreed on Nov. 20, 2018, to extend the due date to Feb. 5, 2019, according to court documents.

Columbia Bank is asking the court for a judgment against i-3 Global and Lapp in addition to costs and attorneys’ fees.

The bank is asking to take immediate possession of i-3 Global’s inventory, equipment, accounts and records of money owed and other financial interests held by i-3 Global to satisfy the terms of the loan.

A trial is set for April 2020.

Hanford contract work

The earlier suit filed by Integrated Global Staffing also was filed in Benton County Superior Court and has an April 2020 trial date.

It claims Mission Support Alliance, the Hanford contractor for site-wide support services, had paid i-3 Global for services that Mission Support Alliance subcontracted to i-3 Global.

I-3 Global turned to another small business, Integrated Global, which provides staffing to Hanford companies, to provide services. But i-3 Global did not use the money it received from Mission Support Alliance to pay Integrated Global, according to the lawsuit.

“... Kristopher Lapp fraudulently spent, misappropriated, and/or diverted money received from i3 Global’s general contractor, MSA, for his own personal benefit rather than on Integrated Global invoices,” according to the suit.

I-3 Global is accused of failing to pay seven invoices received from Integrated Global from August 2018 to January 2019 totaling nearly $450,000 for Mission Support Alliance work.

Involved in Tri-Cities community

Lapp was honored in 2017 with a national Department of Energy award.

And I-3 Global was recognized by the Department of Energy Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization as the 2016 Protege of the Year. The mentor-protege program encourages large DOE contractors to help small disadvantaged businesses.

Kris Lapp.jpg

Mission Support Alliance took on mentorship of i-3 Global to help it develop Hanford business and grow.

Lapp is also involved in various community events.

He posted a month ago on the Facebook food-themed blog he writes, #lappdaddyapproved, that he had signed on to partner with the Pasco Taco Crawl 2019 fundraiser.

Last year, his company was responsible for the social media management, photography, videography and artwork for the Water Follies hydroplane races.

Lapp also is listed in Washington state documents as a one of five owners of Solar Spirits of Richland, but that company is not named in either lawsuit.

Other Tri-Cities recognition

Mission Support Alliance said in April that i-3 Global was doing graphics work for it and that it had found suppliers for work that i-3 Global indicated it would not be able to finish.

People doing work under other i-3 Global contracts to provide workers for specific jobs at Mission Support Alliance were transitioned to other employers, said Mission Support Alliance.

Lapp was given a Business on a Roll Award by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce for 2018 for the success of i-3 Global that year, according to the award announcement. I-3 Global was entered in the category of businesses with more than 50 employees.

Lapp also was invited to speak at the 2018 Tri-Cities Regional Economic Outlook conference presented by the Tri-City Development Council. He was one of eight people listed on a roundtable focused on workforce development.

I-3 Global was founded in 2013 and provides information technology, media services, management services and staffing to the Hanford site and other federal and commercial clients, according to its website.

Senior staff writer Annette Cary covers Hanford, energy, the environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She’s been a news reporter for more than 30 years in the Pacific Northwest.