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Judge orders Australian animal health firm to repay $33K

April 13, 2019 - 3:31 pm

An Australian animal health company has been ordered to repay some of the incentives it received from the Kansas city of Lawrence and Douglas County after abandoning its offices in the area.

Douglas County District Court Judge Amy Hanley recently ruled that Integrated Animal Health breached its incentives contract with the local governments and must pay back more than $33,300, the Lawrence Journal-World reported . But Lawrence officials said it's unlikely they'll be able to recoup the money because the Australian company appears to be defunct.

Integrated Animal Health moved its global headquarters to Lawrence in 2015. The city and county had approved incentives for the company, such as subsidized rent and a $100,000 forgivable loan. The company promised to expand to 50 employees and a $4 million annual payroll in Lawrence.

The business is believed to have abandoned its Kansas lab and offices in 2017, but city officials didn't figure out Integrated Animal Health wasn't operating until last year.

The two local governments sued the company in 2018, but the court has been unable to contact any of its representatives.

City officials said they've only been able to reach the company's former CEO, Blake Hawley, who filed his own lawsuit against Integrated Animal Health in 2017. Hawley is no longer affiliated with the business after resigning amid financial questions regarding the company's founder.

Lawrence officials said the company's former officers are Australian nationals who are beyond the city's reach.

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