Mine owners sue former employees

Posted: Sunday, May 27, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Owners of a Cantwell-area gold mine have sued two ex-employees, charging them with embezzling thousands of dollars of gold and equipment from the mine during the summer 2000 mining season.

Gold Hill and Ascension Mining, which owns the Gold Hill Mine, is suing Derek Guidotti and Julie Luft, who last year served as the mine's general supervisor and gold room supervisor.

The suit was filed May 11 in Fairbanks Superior Court. Guidotti and Luft had not filed a reply as of Friday.

Gold Hill attorney James McLain told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that the companies are seeking damages well in excess of $50,000.

The lawsuit claims that Guidotti and Luft, who were in charge of weighing and recording the gold, stole an undisclosed amount of gold, including a nugget the size of a man's fist.

The complaint also alleges that Guidotti and Luft operated the mine by themselves for three weeks after it officially closed for the season on July 22, keeping whatever gold they mined in that period for themselves or giving it to associates.

The former employees also are accused of taking mine property and leaving out other equipment that was destroyed by the elements over the winter.

Mine owners are seeking a restraining order preventing Guidotti from entering Gold Hill Mine property. The company claims Guidotti is in possession of company mining and engineering reports.

McLain said he does not know whether Guidotti would attempt to use the equipment and information to covertly mine on the property, but the owners want him to stay away.

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