Imagine what you would do if the company you worked for allowed you toborrow millions of dollars at 6 percent interest with only the promisethat you pay it back when you could. Would you take the money and run?That’s what executives at Medical Research Industries (MRI), a smallstart-up Pompano Beach diet-products company, say happened. MRI isaccusing former chief executive William Tishman of using the company ashis “personal fiefdom” to pay gambling debts at Las Vegas casinos andan American Express tab that usually topped $50,000 a month. They aresuing him to the tune of nearly $18 million.

And MRI, the maker of Slim-Patch, Stress-Patch and Sex-Patch � creamsthe company claims help to decrease appetite, relieve anxiety andenhance one’s sex life � faces other problems as it pursues Tishman.Two government agencies have launched inquiries into the company, whichhas raised at least $65 million in private placements from investors,most of whom were doctors.