NORFOLK (CNS) - The co-founder of an "idea development company" claims in court that his business partner squandered company funds to carry on relationships with multiple women.
In a complaint filed in Virginia Beach Circuit Court, Jay Johnson says he met former business partner Gary Humphries when both were members of HomeWAV LLC, creator of an internet-based video visitation system for detention facilities that enables inmates to interact with approved visitors who have purchased the system.
With the success of HomeWAV, Johnson and Humphries decided to start P2S LLC, a business partnership to develop various, unspecified technologies.
Under the terms of their 2013 partnership agreement, Johnson received 47.5 percent of the company in exchange for loans he would extend to it. Humphries, meanwhile, also received 47.5 percent of the company, but instead of funds, he would contribute his brain power to actually develop the products.
Humphries also requested that Nicole VanSlyke, his longtime "intimate friend" and personal assistant, be given a five percent share of the company in exchange for assisting with administrative work of the enterprise and writing abstract patents.
Previously, VanSlyke had been the office manager at HomeWAV.
According to the Dec. 28 complaint, between May and August, 2013, Johnson lent $160,000 to P2S in the form of two separate loans for patent development.
On the same day that Humphries received the first loan of $60,000, the complaint says, he immediately transferred a portion of the money from P2S bank accounts into his personal accounts and wrote a check to VanSlyke for $3,000.
In the spring of 2014, Humphries requested another $15,000, bringing Johnson's investment in the company up to $175,000, the complaint says.
Johnson says he later discovered that between June 2013 and Sept. 2014, Humphries gave a St. Louis women with whom he was romantically involved a debit card for the P2S account.
Johnson claims Humphries made several trips to visit the woman, non-party Aleta Blankship, and paid her monthly living expenses from P2S accounts.
At no time was Blankship ever an employee of P2S, nor did she provide services to the company, Johnson says.
Later, Humphries gave money from P2S accounts to a second female living in Illinois for purposes having nothing to do with patent development with P2S, the complaint says.
Johnson maintains that while all this was going on, Humphries continued to give Nicole VanSykes money to pay for Amazon orders and airline tickets totaling approximately $14,000.
All of this money came from P2S funds, Johnson says.
Despite repeated requests to see progress reports on the patent applications, documentation and other proof that the loaned money had been spent on patent research and patent applications during 2014, Humphries refused to provide evidence that any patent development work was ever done for P2S by himself, VanSlyke or anyone else, the complaint says.
In September, 2014, Johnson and Humphries met in Virginia Beach, where Johnson questioned Humphries about P2S money and again asked for proof of work on development of patents.
According to court documents, Humphries told Johnson that P2S was his company alone and that what he did with the money was, "none of Johnson's (explicative) business," the complaint says.
Johnson seeks $300,000 in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages on claims of fraud and breach of contract.
He is represented by Timothy Brunick and Caryn West of Clarke, Dolph, Rapaport, Hull & Brunick PLC of Virginia Beach, Va.
Representatives of Humphries and P2S could not immediately be reached for comment.