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Va. Supreme Court allows break up of mining company

The Supreme Court of Virginia has refused to block the dissolution of a family-controlled company that runs a profitable kyanite mine in Buckingham County.

In a terse order dated Tuesday, the court denied the motion by The Disthene Group Inc. for a stay of the dissolution order pending an appeal of the trial court’s decision.

On Aug. 30, Circuit Judge Jane Marum Roush concluded the company should be placed in receivership and parceled out, citing a long pattern of oppression of minority shareholders by the domineering company head. The company noted an appeal and asked the Supreme Court to put Roush’s remedy on hold.

The Sept. 25 order of the court means the dissolution plan can move forward while the Supreme Court considers whether to hear the company’s appeal.

In a separate action, a Virginia Beach judge has ordered Disthene president Gene Dixon Jr. to defend a contempt of court motion in connection with his 2007 agreement to resolve a dispute over a family trust. Dixon and his son, Guy Dixon, have been directed to appear before circuit Judge H. Thomas Padrick Jr. on Oct. 9.

The contempt proceeding arises from the settlement of a claim that the Dixons misused money in a marital trust intended to benefit other family members.

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