IGE Founder Brock Pierce Claims Texas Attorney Was Overpaid for Virtual Goods in Exchange for Personal Benefits to IGE Co-Founder
March 7th, 2008 by Benjamin Duranske
Virtually Blind has obtained Brock Pierce’s Answer and Counterclaims (.pdf) responding to the Amended Complaint filed by Alan Debonneville (see earlier coverage) regarding various underhanded moves at well-known virtual property dealer, Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE).
As is traditional with formal Answers in U.S. legal proceedngs, the first part of this is pretty dry, full of nothing but boilerplate admissions and denials.
One counterclaim, however, is awfully interesting. Pierce alleges that Debonneville, while overseeing IGE’s trading arm, overpaid certain people for virtual goods bought on behalf of IGE — including one of the lawyers who now represents Debonneville on this case — in order to secure favor and personal benefits, in breach of Debonneville’s fiduciary duty to IGE.
It isn’t every day that you see somebody whose name appears on the top of the pleadings get called out in the allegations; my guess is the move hasn’t done much to warm relations between the two camps.
As always, I must remind readers that this is an advocacy document and only tells one side of the story. From the Counterclaims:
19. In connection with performing his duties for IGE, DeBonneville became acquainted with various sellers of virtual currency and other items from whom IGE purchased such currency and items for resale.
20. One of those sellers to IGE was, at various times, Jose Portela, an attorney in Texas.
21. IGE paid the sellers from whom it purchased virtual currency and other items. The amount paid was often determined by DeBonneville, who was to set the payments at a rate more favorable than the market value, so that IGE would earn a profit upon resale.
22. Upon information and belief, DeBonneville developed a personal relationship with Portela and began causing IGE to pay Portela an excessive amount for any virtual currency or other items Portela sold to IGE.
23. Upon information and belief, DeBonneville began doing so in order to gain Portela’s favor and/or to obtain personal benefits from him.
24. DeBonneville, as an employee, officer, director and/or manager of IGE, owed IGE and Pierce a fiduciary duty including, without limitation, a duty of care, loyalty and candor.
25. Upon information and belief, DeBonneville breached his fiduciary duties by overpaying Portela in exchange for personal benefit.
Pierce also alleged defamation based on statements in the original Complaint (which his lawyers eventually had sealed), but has since dropped the claim.
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