Robert L. Kroenlein Trust, et al v. Kirchhefer, et al, No. 13-8040 (10th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
The Robert L. Kroenlein Trust owned and operated J&B Liquors. In 2005, a salesman for one of J&B's beer distributors, Gary Kirchhefer, began stealing beer from J&B's account and reselling the stolen beer to other bars and liquor stores in Wyoming, including those owned by the defendants. One of the owners of J&B discovered Kirchhefer's theft in 2007, and Kirchhefer was eventually prosecuted and convicted of the crime. Seeking recovery of its losses, Kroenlein filed suit in 2011 against Kirchhefer, two of the bars to which he sold the stolen beer, and the owners of the bars. The suit asserted several claims alleging that the defendants had violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. The defendants moved for summary judgment on several grounds, including that Kroenlein's RICO claims were barred by RICO's four-year statute of limitations. The district court granted summary judgment on the grounds that all of Kroenlein's RICO claims were time-barred. In the alternative, the district court also found that the undisputed evidence could not support Kroenlein's RICO claims. The Tenth Circuit agreed that Kroenlein's RICO claims were time-barred and affirmed the district court's dismissal of its claims.