Business Partner Accuses Fashion Designer of Misappropriating Company Funds for Personal Use
Everyone in Los Angeles has creative vision in abundance, but not everyone has business sense. Therefore, partnerships between an artist and an entrepreneur are common here in the City of Angeles. Egos can clash in any business partnership, even one that sells products much more boring than the trappings of celebrity culture that make up so much of our city’s culture. Business disputes can easily boil down to, “It’s my idea!”, “But it’s my money!”, or “You’re just jealous!” The subject matter of a business dispute may not differ substantially from an interpersonal conflict, but the existence of the legally binding contract means that a court can officially decide who wins and who loses. If you brought on business partners to assist in your creative endeavor, but the business relationship has turned sour, contact a Los Angeles business litigation lawyer.
When Jealousy Poisons Business Partnerships
The plaintiff in a lawsuit recently filed in Los Angeles County owns a 20 percent stake in a notable fashion designer’s brand. Before investing in the company, the plaintiff had made a name for himself in the music industry, albeit not as a performer; for example, he has a songwriting credit from a hit song from about a decade ago. The defendant overcame adversity to become a successful, and self-taught, fashion designer. His designs have a recognizable “rags to riches” aesthetic, where the thrift store meets the red carpet.
The trouble started when the brand gained national popularity after several celebrities wore a certain clothing item designed by the designer at major media appearances. The plaintiff claims that fame went to the defendant’s head, and he started living an A-list celebrity lifestyle, traveling by private jet and collecting luxury cars and designer watches. This would not bother the plaintiff, except that the defendant allegedly used company funds to bankroll his lavish lifestyle, perhaps on the pretense that they were business expenses. In any case, the plaintiff’s distributions for his ownership stake in the company did not increase, even as the company’s revenues skyrocketed. To add insult to injury, the plaintiff alleges that the real cause of the trouble is that the clothing item responsible for the company’s breakout success was originally the plaintiff’s idea.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff is requesting compensatory damages in the amount that the company should have paid him since its revenues increased. He is also requesting an opportunity to review the company’s financial records, as the defendant has allegedly denied him this opportunity. The plaintiff has also asked the court to remove the defendant’s control of the company, although the Los Angeles Times website did not include any details about how this would work.
Speak With a Los Angeles Business Litigation Lawyer
A Los Angeles business litigation lawyer can help you work out your differences with a business partner if things went bad between you after your company achieved success. Contact Obagi Law Group, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call 424-284-2401.