ProData Computer Services, Inc. v. Ponec
Nebraska Supreme Court
256 Neb. 228 (1999)
In 1981, Ronald Ponec (defendant), Marion Wamsat, and Joseph Hartley started ProData Computer Services, Inc. (ProData) (plaintiff), a computer business. Wamsat and Hartley were the sole shareholders. Wamsat and Ponec were married in the early years of ProData’s existence, but divorced in 1991. Subsequently, Wamsat and Hartley detected several instances in which Ponec repeatedly converted ProData funds to his own use by writing checks on ProData’s money-market account, making direct payments from ProData’s account to pay for Ponec’s luxuries, and depositing customer checks directly into Ponec’s own personal accounts. In 1996, ProData filed suit against Ponec for fraud, conversion, embezzlement, breach of fiduciary obligations, and breach of employment contract. The jury returned a verdict for ProData in the amount of approximately $580,000, and the trial court imposed a constructive trust on Ponec’s property, including the investment accounts into which the converted funds had been deposited. Ponec appealed, arguing that the trial court had erred because (1) the investment accounts existed before the converted funds were deposited into the accounts and (2) the converted funds had appreciated in value since their deposit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Miller-Lerman, J.)
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