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Collins & Aikman Close To Shuttering Georgia Plant

Troubled auto-parts maker needs a buyer soon.

AMERICUS, Ga. (AP) - A financially troubled Michigan auto-parts company linked to a securities fraud investigation is likely to close its plant here, putting 330 employees out of work, a spokesman says.

David Youngman, vice president of Collins & Aikman Corp. of Southfield, Mich., said Wednesday the plant could cease operations within the next few weeks unless another company takes over.

Collins & Aikman filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year, and a prosecutor confirmed earlier this month that its former chairman and chief executive, David Stockman, is a target of an investigation into possible financial fraud at the company.

Stockman was a top budget official in the Reagan White House. Stockman's attorney, Elkan Abramowitz, said Stockman has been cooperating with prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission and he did not believe charges should be brought.

Some equipment and machinery were removed from the factory last week and carted away on tractor trailers. Youngman said the equipment probably belonged to the major automakers supplied by the plant and was being moved to more stable factories.

The Americus workers have been informed of the company's financial problems, but no layoffs have been announced, Youngman said.

Collins & Aikman announced in mid-November that it was trying to sell all of its factories and assets around the country because of its financial problems. Some of the company's plants have attracted buyer interest, but not the Americus plant, Youngman said.