According to an agreement signed in 1977, there were to be four shareholders of the Cato Institute. They were Charles and David Koch , Ed Crane,  and William A. Niskanen . Niskanen died in October 2011.  In March 2012, a dispute broke out over the ownership of Niskanen's shares.   Charles and David Koch filed suit in Kansas, seeking to void his shareholder seat. The Kochs argued that Niskanen’s shares should first be offered to the board of the Institute, and then to the remaining shareholders.  Crane contended that Niskanen's share belonged to his widow, Kathryn Washburn, and that the move by the Kochs was an attempt to turn Cato into "some sort of auxiliary for the .... It's detrimental to Cato, it's detrimental to Koch Industries, it's detrimental to the libertarian movement."