Bank seeks $1.2 million from Venetoulis for debts owed by his printing company


Maryland National Bank is seeking $1.2 million from Theodore G. Venetoulis stemming from debts owed by a Silver Spring printing company that Mr. Venetoulis owns with other investors.

Record Printing and Composition Co., a commercial printing operation at 7676 Fenton Ave., was closed about two weeks ago after being taken over by the bank.

Mr. Venetoulis, a publishing executive and former Baltimore County executive, refused yesterday to discuss the actions, rTC which were first reported in The Washington Post, saying he was the midst of negotiations with Maryland National. Bank spokesman Daniel Finney also refused comment.

On Tuesday, Maryland National filed judgments in Baltimore County Circuit Court seeking to recover $2.98 million from the company's three owners. Also, the bank is seeking payment of $1.35 million from Vicki L. Bagley, the owner of a Washington real estate company, and $434,268 from Lanny J. Davis, a Washington lawyer and Montgomery County Democratic official.

Mr. Venetoulis, president of the company that owned the printingfirm, ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1978 at the end of a four-year term as Baltimore County executive.

Since leaving office, he has bought and sold a variety of publications including a collection of Baltimore suburban weeklies, San Francisco Magazine and weeklies in the Washington suburbs.

Mr. Venetoulis still publishes the Orioles Gazette, a twice-a month baseball publication, and occasionally appears as a political commentator for WBAL-TV in Baltimore.

He is also part of a group that includes author Tom Clancy and movie producer Jim Robinson which is vying for a National Football League franchise in Baltimore.

Mr. Venetoulis, Mr. Davis and Ms. Bagley bought the Record Printing Co. and the Record Publishing Corp. in 1988 from Raymond and Pauline Mahaffey for an undisclosed price.

The court filing said three separate loans, totaling $3 million, were made to V-Com Publishing Co. Inc. and V-Com Composition Inc. -- the companies that own the Silver Spring operation -- in September 1988 by Equitable Bank N.A. Equitable was later merged with Maryland National.

According to the filing, the companies missed a payment in June 1990, but the bank held off calling in the loan by negotiating eight forebearance agreements, dating to December 1990.

However, the latest forebearance agreement was broken, according to the filing, when Mr. Venetoulis collected about $100,000 in accounts receivable and paid a debt of $50,000 to a paper supplier, an unsecured creditor, that should have gone to Maryland National.

Besides its printing operation, the company published three weekly papers: The Burtonsville Record, the Silver Spring Record and the Montgomery County Business Record.

Those publications were sold in December to the Gaithersburg Publishing Co., which produces 14 weekly papers in the Washington suburbs. After the purchase, the names of the Silver Spring and Burtonsville papers were changed from Record to Gazette and the Business Record was closed, according to Davis Lee Kennedy, publisher of Gaithersburg Publishing.

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