LOS ANGELES (CNS) — In a $30 million lawsuit, prominent sports agent Dan Fegan claims sports and entertainment executive Hank Ratner stole several of his NBA clients, destroyed his reputation and usurped his sports agency business.
In a Thursday lawsuit in Superior Court Regan claims that Ratner, CEO of Independent Sports & Entertainment, or ISE, “orchestrated a Machiavellian conspiracy to destroy” his reputation and steal his clients.
“The motivation for this scheme was the control of ISE’s Basketball Division, a successful and lucrative business that was built and managed over many years by Fegan,” the complaint states. “If Ratner could prevent Fegan from competing with ISE, as he had plotted, Ratner would reap the benefits of a multimillion-dollar windfall in future agent fees by stealing Fegan’s NBA clients and avoiding the millions of dollars in payments Fegan is already owed.”
Independent Sports & Entertainment sued Fegan in March, claiming he’s set up a competing business on the side to divert clients, employees and other business interests his way.
Fegan, who has represented the L.A. Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and former L.A. Laker Dwight Howard, says his troubles began when he sold his basketball representation business to Relativity Sports and became president of the Basketball Division.
When Relativity Sports faced bankruptcy, Fegan says, he funneled $1 million of his own money into the failing business, then recommended that Relativity Sports hire Ratner to revive its fortunes, and Relativity was relaunched as Independent Sports & Entertainment.
Ratner then took over the day-to-day running of Fegan’s basketball division, according to the lawsuit, though he had no experience representing players and had promised that Fegan would maintain full control. The company later fired him and took his clients, Fegan says.
“By December of 2016 it was clear to almost everyone in the Los Angeles office that Ratner had entirely usurped Fegan’s authority as president and CEO of the Basketball Division,” the lawsuit states. “In mid-December 2016, [defendants] informed Fegan that they thought it would be best if Fegan would leave the company.”
He seeks $30 million in damages for fraud and intentional interference with contractual relations and is represented by Howard Weitzman and Michael Kump of Kinsella, Weitzman, Iser, Kump & Aldisert.