Ex-Partner Accused of AIP Trade Secret Theft
MANHATTAN (CN) - A former managing partner of American Institutional Partners masterminded a scheme to steal the company's trade secrets from its owner, Pelican Equity claims in Federal Court.
Pelican Equity, which owns AIP's rights, says Robert Brazell partnered with Stephen Norris to form Talos Partners in order to steal AIP's confidential busines information for their own gain. At the time, Brazell was a managing partner of AIP, a stock loan business. The complaint paints a colorful picture of him, quoting his 2008 email to AIP founder Mark Robbins, in which he said he "humped the Prudential brochure" because he was so excited to be a partner in AIP.
Brazell used the company's computers to copy a Web site that AIP was developing, which he used for Talos, the lawsuit states. Pelican claims the copying was so sloppy that early forms of Talos' site still referred to AIP.
In the last 90 days, the defendants - acting through Talos - have closed more than $500 million in stock loans and have amassed a balance sheet of $350 million using AIP's confidential information, the suit states.
Pelican claims that former AIP counsel Bryan Cave breached its duty to its client by helping Brazell set up Talos while he was still a managing partner at American Institutional. Bryan Cave asked Robbins to sign a waiver and release letter, but Robbins allegedly refused. Pelican claims Bryan Cave not only set up Talos' certificate of formation, but also charged AIP for the work.
A spokesman for Bryan Cave declined to comment.
Pelican seeks damages, a ruling barring the defendants from using AIP's confidential information and an order requiring them to return it.
Pelican is represented by Steven Altman.
Brazell, Norris, Talos Partners, Rama Ramachandran, Darl McBride and Bryan Cave are all listed as defendants.