Rudolf Suter.

DALLAS—A federal judge in Dallas has issued an arrest warrant for Rudolf Suter, ex-CEO of PFO Global (OTCQB: PFGB), in connection with a civil contempt order stemming from a long-running legal dispute with the former chairman of Denton Vacuum, a manufacturer of coating equipment.

U.S. District Judge David Godbey for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, issued the order on March 10, 2016, just three days after PFO Global announced that Suter had stepped down as CEO, effective March 1, and was being succeeded by optical industry veteran Matt Cevasco, as VMail reported. The order, first reported by The Texas Lawbook, calls for Suter to be “coercively incarcerated” until he responds under oath to questions brought in a lawsuit by Peter Denton and an investment group that are seeking payments from Suter in connection with failed investments they made in a now defunct Swiss company, Optixx AG, that Suter had headed. The order also called for Suter to pay $27,605 in legal fees as well as $8,086 in attorney’s fees to Denton and the investors.

According to the order, the court finds Suter’s disregard of its orders to be “egregious,” noting that, “in the past, Suter has complied with court orders only when threatened with incarceration.”

Commenting on the court order, Suter told VMail that “I will get this out of my way within the next 10 days.”

Speaking by phone yesterday from an undisclosed location, Suter asserted that his departure from PFO was planned, and is not related to his legal dispute with Denton. “When we took company public in 2015, I announced to the board that they should search for my replacement. I told them I was not willing to do the job for more than one year. We had a board meeting about eight weeks ago, and I told them I was resigning as of June 30, 2016. Due to fact that Matt was available March 1, we moved the date up.”

Cevasco told VMail he concurred with Suter’s version of events, adding that “The long standing issue between Ruedi and Peter Denton began long before Ruedi was even associated with PFO. It’s only a coincidence that his departure from the company occurred at about the same time the judge’s order was issued.”

Suter joined PFO Global as CEO/president in 2010 and led the company through a series of acquisitions, including the merger with publicly traded Energy Telecom.