BTG180 vs. Craddock dismissal denied
Back in February, BTG180 filed a lawsuit against Robert Craddock and Fun Club USA.
The case was brought about after Craddock failed to deliver on contractual promises made between the two parties, and issues arising from Craddock using the BTG180 affiliate database to further his personal gains.
In July an amended complaint was filed by BTG180, adding Theodore Zentner to the defendant list. Zentner, an attorney and President of Fun Club USA, went on to file a motion to dismiss around October/November.
Zentner argued that the District Court of Nevada was an improper venue to hear the case against him, because
he has only been to Nevada once in his life, has never conducted business here, and has no ties (t)here. He also claims that any witnesses and evidence he may need for this case are located in Florida.
Further, defendant states that he is 68 years old and scheduled for several major surgeries during the next six months, making it difficult for him to work and travel.
BTG180 filed a response to Zentner’s motion, arguing
their choice of venue is appropriate because “Nevada is the judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to Plaintiffs’ claims
occurred, and a significant amount of the harm incurred by Plaintiffs has and/or is likely to occur in this district.”
Plaintiffs note that “all of Plaintiffs’ employees, principals, computer systems, digital files, and physical records are maintained” in Nevada, and that “all or nearly all of the non-party witnesses that Plaintiff may require in this action are either located in Nevada, or are spread out elsewhere throughout the country.
The following five points were also brought up in support of BTG180’s venue argument:
- the parties entered into an agreement in Nevada
- plaintiffs are all located in the state of Nevada
- defendants knew or should have known that any litigation involving the parties would be brought in Nevada
- defendants specifically engaged in wrongful conduct designed to injure plaintiffs in Nevada
- defendants operated a website accessible by plaintiffs’ clients and sent emails to plaintiff’s affiliates, many of whom are likely residents of Nevada
Hearing the motion to dismiss on December 8th, Judge Mahan sided with BTG180 and upheld their choice of venue.
Having considered plaintiffs’ complaint and the parties’ filings, the court finds it appropriate to preserve plaintiffs’ choice of venue in the instant case.
Defendant’s arguments are not sufficiently compelling to warrant transfer of this action to another district.
Defendant fails to meet the burden of making “a strong showing of inconvenience to warrant upsetting the plaintiff’s choice of forum.”
Defendant’s motion does not provide evidence that plaintiffs are in any way connected to Florida or that any of the acts at issue in the case occurred there.
Further, plaintiffs’ complaint alleges substantial conduct by the other defendants in the case that took place in Nevada.
While defendant Zentner was not a party to the consulting agreement, the agreement’s choice of law provision further supports venue in this district.
For the foregoing reasons, the motion to dismiss will be denied.
The case against Fun Club USA, Robert Craddock and Theodore Zentner will now continue.
And if the case isn’t resolved out of court, it should be a blast to hear arguments as to why BTG180 (which is modeled closely on Zeek Rewards) isn’t a Ponzi scheme.
Craddock’s going to have a hard time explaining why he misappropriated the BTG180 database, but proving BTG180 has enough in common with Zeek Rewards (an $850M Ponzi scheme) should be easy as pie.
Footnote: Our thanks to Don @ ASDUpdates for providing a copy of Judge Mahan’s December 8th order.
Update 3rd March 2016 – Not much happened in the case during 2015, other than an answer filed by Zentner in January.
On February 29th, 2016, Judge Koppe ordered BTG180 and Zentner to file a joint status report by March 14th.
Craddock meanwhile has been ordered to show cause as to why default judgement shouldn’t be entered against him. Craddock must show cause in writing also by March 14th.