March 20, 1997 1:45 PM ET

Company to shut down, claims AOL owes it $2.2 million
By Maria Seminerio

  PTP Industries Inc., a Baltimore-based computer disk packaging manufacturer, has laid off hundreds of employees and is moving toward a shutdown it blames on its biggest customer, America Online Inc.

PTP, one of the largest employers in the city's federally-funded, $100 million downtown empowerment zone, claims AOL owes it $2.2 million for plastic and cardboard mailing packages it provided for AOL disks, and has laid off more than 500 workers in the last month, company officials said.

AOL spokeswoman Tricia Primrose said PTP wasn't paid because the company "admitted to falsifying official U.S. Postal Service records," but PTP officials denied having falsified any paperwork.

Meanwhile, AOL is being sued by The Provident Bank of Maryland, which claimed in a federal filing this week that AOL's actions forced PTP to default on a $3.45 million loan the bank had issued.

Primrose said AOL officials had no comment on the Provident Bank suit.

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