Hundreds of millions of dollars are being sought in damages, with several defendants facing claims of $50,000,000 apiece, on different counts.
The case number, 02CH19833, details the defendants in a complaint for injunctive relief and damages. They are Ric Lewis, Robert Shane Vance, Scott A. Herkelman, John R. Malley, John F. Hall, BFG Technologies, Advanced Equities Inc, Keith G. Daubenspek, Dwight O. Badger, Christopher R. Pravecek, John Slevin, John Vosicky, Nvidia, Hilton Sessel, Mitac International and Barbara Lewis.
The allegation is these defendants had a plan in which they used Visiontek's confidential proprietary information and trade secrets, and "illegally solicited Visiontek's employees, suppliers and customers for the purpose of creating a new company to compete withand ultimately destroy Visiontek."
These actions, the plaintiff alleges, breach several employment and confidentiality agreements, certain defendants' fiduciary duties, a violation of the Illinois Trade Secrets Act, and tortious interference with Visiontek's contractual and business relationships.
The individuals named in the allegations were either employed by Visiontek, Advanced Equities, BFG, or in Sessel's case the director of sales of Nvidia.
The docket further alleges that Ric Lewis and other ex-Visiontek employees had confidentiality agreements that they breached, and so had confidential info about business plans and strategy, and their contracts meant they had to sign an agreement that they wouldn't discuss Visiontek's agreements with anyone outside the organisation.
Mitac and Nvidia are described in the allegations as key suppliers to Visionteks, and both companies are parties to the Mutual Confidentiality Agreement, the plaintiff claims.
According to the document, Visiontek started to attempt to raise capital with Advanced Equities early in 2002, and signed certain confidentiality agreements covering those arrangements.
It found $4,575,000 for Visiontek, but in July 2002 both companies discussed raising additional money.
The plaintiff claims that AE suggested a scheme in which a new company would hire all Visiontek's key employees.
The plaintiff claims that some of the defendants were involved in an allegedly illegal plan to create a new company using confidential information such as costs, volumes, overheads, and pricing.
That plan, the document continues, meant three individuals - Lewis, Vance and Herkelman, had to successfully persuade suppliers such as Nvidia and Mitac and customers including Best Buy to terminate their relationship with Visiontek and go with the new company.
Nvidia and Mitac's cooperation was "critical" to the plan, it is alleged, and "could not proceed without Nvidia's and Mitac's support and participation".
It's alleged that Mitac provided confidential information, while Nvidia is alleged to have advised others that Visiontek had no legal right to sell inventory held. Nvidia is alleged to have threatened legal action against individuals and companies if they did business with Visiontek.
A new business was formed using the Advanced Equities plan and using supplier and customer relationships to the detriment of Visiontek, it was alleged, while Lewis, Vance and Herkelman left Visiontek on the 14th of August.
The plaintiff alleges that the defendants "engaged in a campaign to publicly sabotage, disparage and destroy Visiontek" and placed or caused to placed "false and/or misleading information and confidential information about Visiontek in industry publications. The publication of this information caused irreparable damage to Visiontek's reputation and ability to conduct business," the document says.
These three individuals, it is alleged, on the same day but before they resigned, asked Nvidia to hold and cancel all open Visiontek orders. "This action caused irreparable damage to Visiontek's reputation and ability to conduct business," the document continues.
It's also alleged that before they resigned from Visiontek, the three defendants, in concert with Mitac, agreed to create excess inventory for the new company they were planning.
BFG, which it is alleged was founded on Visiontek confidential information, was incorporated on the 27th of August.
The plaintiff claims, on behalf of the creditors of Visiontek, a sum of $50,000,000 plus court costs, apparently from each of the defendants.
As well as this, the plaintiff complains that several of the defendants have breached the Illinois Trade Secrets Act, for which further sums of $50,000,000 damages, each, are sought.
The plaintiff also wants sums of $50,000,000 from Nvidia and Mitac each for alleged tortious interference with contractual arrangements.
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