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“We were coached,” former Tate Publishing employees allege CEO tampered with federal investigation

MUSTANG, Okla. - There’s more trouble for Tate Publishing.

Back in June, NewsChannel 4 reported that Tate Publishing was being sued for not paying more than $1 million in bills.

Now, the Department of Labor has an active investigation into whether Tate Publishing failed to pay its employees overtime over several years.

And now some former employees are alleging Ryan Tate tampered with the federal investigation.

We looked all over Tuesday for Ryan Tate, trying to get answers for the employees who say he owes them money.

We agreed to conceal a former employee’s identity because he’s involved in the Department of Labor’s ongoing investigation.

He says Ryan Tate threatened employees in a meeting before the Department of Labor came to interview everyone.

“We were coached on what to say as far as what information we should and should not give,” the former Tate employee said.

Tate has been accused of threatening employees before when the company started outsourcing work to the Philippines, and Ryan Tate led his employees in prayer at the Mustang office before firing more than two dozen of them.

That meeting was recorded.

“You morons that sat back and wanted to create and generate conspiracy theories on the what-ifs or what could be happenings are stupid,” Ryan Tate said on the recording.

Last week, former employees tell NewsChannel 4 he fired about a dozen more people.

Mr. Tate’s car was in the parking lot Tuesday, but they locked NewsChannel 4 out.

Now, folks out of a job are hoping when the investigation is over, they’ll finally get the money they say they deserve.

“I don't think the employees want anything that's not theirs, but if something's due to them for all the weekends, nights, lunches, long days away from family,” the former employee said.

Tate owes Xerox $1.7 million for leasing its industrial printers.

Xerox has seized all of that equipment under a court order.