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Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX early formation of the company and throughout my time there the promise of the equity was verbal and was also implied by the level of my responsibilities and the plans for me as the company grew. I was hired away from a higher paying management job to take this position based upon these promises and the representations made about the investment dollars going into the company - it was represented to be the next Chipotle and the investors behind Smash Burger were also involved. Smash Burger is a rapidly growing chain of gourmet burger restaurants. I was the original and only employee at the beginning and was to be the main guy due to my age, ability, experience and work ethic. I generally worked at least 70 hours per week and conducted myself as an owner with a whatever it took attitude. Many times over 80 hours per week. While I believed my trust in him and the representations were justifiably, he did acknowledge the promise of 5% equity in the company in an email.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX my beliefs based on just the basic facts that I have stated. Last questions, all of the detailed evidence, emails, conduct, statements from other people tell the story of his pattern of deceit but like anyone committing fraudulent schemes, they tend to put as little as possible in writing and so its not like a specific written contract but rather implied contract where the court would have to make a fraud/contract determination based upon the actors. For example, he gave attorneys, suppliers and marketing people equity in exchange for services, therefore it is logical that he made the same promise to me? Is a jury allowed to draw these inferences and look at the story rather than the form he puts things in?
Also, the company has negative equity now but it had perceived or expected value as the investors were excited about the new company. Over 1 million dollars was sold to investors at the rate of $120,000 for 5%. Had I had access to the equity back then, the chances of selling the stake was very good. Now, its worthless to me so I want to be paid for its past rather than its current value. Do I have a valid argument, otherwise, it may not make sense to sue over the equity that is currently worthless?
Finally, the company has no assets so even with a judgment, I still lose even the wage claim if the company has no money and cannot force the owner to pay for the company's judgment - is that correct? However, if he has committed fraud in connection with the wage and equity claim or if it is determined that he wrongfully terminated me, can the corporate veil be pierced and sue him personally? He is a millionaire so he has plenty of assets.
Thanks, that was a very thorough and detailed answer. Have a nice weekend!
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