The FBI and the U.S. Department of Labor are investigating the bankruptcy of a Montana appliance and electronics store that rendered its Employee Stock Ownership Plan worthless.

The FBI notified former Vann's Inc. employees who participated in the plan of the investigation in letters sent last week.

Investigators are asking the former employees if they believed or were told the stock plan was intended to provide for their retirement and how the loss of the stock program affected them.

In December, former Vann's CEO George Manlove and former CFO Paul Nisbet settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of 200 former employees.

The employees claimed gross mismanagement of the company cost them $9.2 million in stock losses. The case was settled for $7.4 million.

The investigation was first reported by KWYB-TV in Bozeman.

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