The State of Oklahoma wants $1.8 million from Tulsa businessman Casey Bradford.
News On 6 interviewed Bradford at his business Shady Keys on Jan. 8 about bars struggling during the pandemic. Now, the state is suing Bradford as co-owner in a different business, "PPE Supplies, LLC."
"Suffice to say Mr. Bradford was front and center with regard to negotiations with the state and the commitments that were made to the state,” said Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter.
Hunter said in March, the State Health Department paid Bradford $2.1 million for 1.2 million N-95 masks.
The lawsuit states PPE Supplies, LLC was registered on the same day the state placed the order. Hunter said the state got fewer than 10,000 masks and has been refunded only $300,000.
Bradford's attorney, Margo Shipley, told News On 6 Bradford speaks Mandarin and was working with contacts in China but ended up being the victim of dishonest third parties.
"He's served our country, he owns multiple businesses that employ many Oklahomans and has done a lot for our state,” said Shipley. “Has done a lot to try to help our state during the pandemic and unfortunately, like we discussed, was taken advantaged of."
News On 6 asked Shipley what happened to the state's money and whether Bradford's other businesses will be impacted.
"We are confident that these issues will be resolved through the legal process and will continue the health of Mr. Bradford's businesses into the future," said Shipley.
Meanwhile, the AG's Office will not say whether this lawsuit will escalate to any criminal charges or whether anyone else could later be named in the suit.
Bradford's attorney said they have not been served the lawsuit documents. Once they are handed the court documents, Bradford's legal team will have 20 days to respond.