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Carbon Clean Chairman Sued by Federal Express

From A Times Staff Writer

The new chairman of Carbon Clean International, formerly known as Parker Automotive Corp., has been accused of fraud in a lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco this week in connection with a company he owns there.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Connie C. (Chip) Armstrong Jr. is being sued by Federal Express for allegedly diverting to himself millions of dollars in tax payments he was supposed to make to the government on behalf of Federal Express.

The newspaper quoted documents filed in U.S. District Court alleging that an Armstrong company--San Francisco’s Hamilton Taft & Co.--may have diverted $100 million from Federal Express, Sony Corp., Castle & Cooke, Stanford University, the State Bar of California and the Oakland Athletics. Hamilton Taft processed payroll taxes for major employers.

Federal Express refused comment, and its lawyers couldn’t be reached Friday. The flamboyant Armstrong also could not be reached either at Carbon Clean, a lightly traded public company that makes cleaning devices for auto engines, or at Remington Cos., a Dallas-based investment firm headed by Armstrong.

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Parker has his own legal problems. He was indicted last month by a federal grand jury on 46 counts of racketeering, money laundering, paying and receiving kickbacks, bank and tax fraud, and tax evasion. The indictment alleges that he bilked more than $11 million from Columbia Savings & Loan in Beverly Hills.

Parker has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial while incarcerated in Los Angeles County Jail.


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