Thanks for following up. If they won't voluntarily issue you the equity that has been promised you, you will have to file a suit against them to ask the court to enforce their promises. And, if you are forced to file the suit, you want them to know you will be raising the stakes by seeking not only that the equity be issued to you, but also punitive damages due to their intentional bad faith. If there is nothing in writing, it is a bit more difficult. But, the lack of a written contract can be overcome by the concepts of promissory estoppel, detrimental reliance, and unjust enrichment. This situation arises when Person A relied upon the verbal agreement, Person A performed based on such reliance, and because Person B defaulted, such reliance is now to Person A's detriment. Where there is i) partial performance by Person A based upon the mutual promises, ii) Person A relied upon such promises to perform, iii) Person B's failure to perform would be to Person A's detriment, and iv) result in Person B being unjustly enriched, Person A can overcome the legal requirement that the agreement be in writing. Your situation would satisfy all the foregoing elements. One suggestion that I would make is to get your witnesses to sign sworn affidavits evidencing the promises to protect yourself against them flaking out at you at trial.
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