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Mike Ognibene Ford assets ordered seized Ford Credit says dealership owes $10 million

BATAVIA -- An order of seizure of assets was signed Friday by Acting State Supreme Court Judge Robert C. Noonan in a dispute between the Ford Credit Co. and Mike Ognibene Ford.

Ford Credit claims that Mike Ognibene Ford on East Main Street Road owes more than $2 million for vehicles sold and seeks another $8 million in inventory.

Noonan, who is the Genesee County Judge, said a temporary order barring Ognibene from selling cars was issued earlier.

Ognibene, a resident of Elba, said he is preparing a counterclaim against Ford Credit, citing "false claims" and "manipulative business practices."

Ognibene had announced earlier in the week that he was in the process of selling the business, which he purchased in 2001. The sale would have to be approved by the Ford Motor Co., a separate entity from the credit company.

Whether the ongoing court action will affect the effort to sell the dealership is not clear.

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