William Koch, billionaire, accused of kidnapping in weird suit from ex-employee

Categories: News

A keepsake from Buckskin Joe.
As reported last month by Forbes, the complaint, filed in the Northern District of California, asserts that in March, Kirby Martensen, a onetime employee of the Koch-owned firm Oxbow Carbon, was held for hours against his will at Bear Ranch, a spread not far from Paonia that features many of the buildings from Buckskin Joe.

According to CBS4, which has just assembled its own story about the suit, Martensen was given a tour of the timeworn structures -- but it doesn't sound like he enjoyed it too much.

Martensen asserts that during his time at the ranch, in the company of a Gunnison County deputy allegedly on hand to "make sure he didn't run away," he was fired from his gig as Oxbow's senior vice president, after which he was "kidnapped and driven to Denver" -- rather than Aspen, his preferred destination -- before being put on a plane to his home.

The official response to these allegations comes from Oxbow, which asserts in a press release that Martensen is merely retaliating for the firm's investigation of him, for activities his former colleagues see as fraudulent. The official statement reads:

Kirby Martensen states in a lawsuit that we investigated him for participating in a wide-ranging scheme to defraud, accepting bribes and diverting business from our company. He is right. We absolutely investigated Martensen and determined that he did participate in the fraud against the company. We identified who was defrauding us and are pursuing appropriate action to hold them accountable. In fact, several of the wrongdoers have admitted their involvement and one has directly implicated Mr. Martensen in the scheme.
The release adds, "Any allegations of misconduct by Mr. Koch simply are untrue and stem from Martensen's attempts to divert attention from his own wrongdoing."

Look below to see the CBS4 report on this odd confrontation.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "William Koch buys another piece of Western history: Buckskin Joe."

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Hey Koch , I'm available for kidnapping . I'm crippled & can't run .

As long as you keep your britches on , I'm game !

We can begin the negotiating w/ the 'Billy the Kid' photo & a mere million dollars !

I promise NOT to sue !!!!

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