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That Deal Didn’t Turn Out Too Well

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (CN) - A Kansas financial services firm claims a felon who sold it her business lied about its assets, then stole its customers and harassed its staff.

Lawing Financial, of Overland Park, sued Nadia Cavner and The Nadia Cavner Group on April 15 in Federal Court.

The 38-page lawsuit contains a welter of allegations.

Lawing claims that Cavner fraudulently misrepresented her company's assets by more than $100 million; had been barred from the industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority; tampered with computer data; stole trade secrets; harassed Lawing advisers and staff; threatened to kill one; breached contract and unjustly enriched herself.

Lawing says it bought Cavner's company from her for $3 million in 2014. It claims that Cavner falsely claimed to have $400 million under management and agreed not to compete with Lawing for 18 months or solicit its acquired clients for 60 months.

It claims Cavner also agreed to a "Heightened Supervisory Plan" preventing her from offering securities advice or interacting with clients without a Lawing representative present.

The plan was proposed due to a felony conviction the prior year that caused FINRA to revoke Cavner's membership and disqualify her from being registered with FINRA for 10 years, according to the complaint.

In 2013, Lawing says, Cavner pleaded guilty in Tennessee to a federal felony charge of interstate stalking. She was sentenced to five years probation, six months of home confinement and two years of community service, the complaint states.

That wasn't Cavner's first run-in with the courts, Lawing says.

It claims that in 2005 she was ordered to pay a $325,000 judgment in a breach of confidentiality and non-solicitation lawsuit against from her former employer, U.S. Bancorp Investments, in Missouri Federal Court.

In 2013, she was sued again, in Missouri's Greene County Circuit Court, on stalking allegations, Lawing says.

After buying her business, Lawing says, it discovered that Cavner Group was managing $291 million - not $400 million, as claims.

Then Cavner breached the "Heightened Supervisory Plan" by secretly meeting one of Lawing's high-asset clients and persuading him to allow her to be his attorney-in-fact and successor trustee to his revocable trust, according to the complaint.

The plaintiff claims that "multiple Lawing clients" told it that Cavner was providing them with investment advice and saying she would "getting back in the business."

And it claims that Cavner sent an angry text message to a Lawing financial adviser that stated: "Planning to KILL you!"

"Cavner is improperly undermining Lawing's client relationships in an effort to maintain control and influence over her former clients, which is prohibited not only by her agreements with Lawing, but also by regulations," Lawing says.

It seeks declaratory judgment, an injunction and damages of at least $1 million.

It is represented by John Shaw with Berkowitz, Oliver Williams Shaw & Eisenbrand in Kansas City, Mo.

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