Commercial · Trade Secret

Oakland Coffee Companies Fight; Blue Bottle Named in RICO Action

U.S.D.C. Nor. Cal. – A 59 page complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California tells the tale of a coffee scandal involving famed Blue Bottle Coffee. Plaintiff Mocha Mill, an Oakland company, alleges that its CEO conspired with competitor Port of Mokha to steal Mocha Mill’s product and distribution relationships.

According to the complaint, Mocha Mill spent thousands of dollars sending its CEO on extended educational trips around the world, forming relationships with Yemeni farmers and refining the processes to make Yemeni coffee. Mocha Mill alleges these efforts were successful in creating a new buzz for the product.

As soon as the CEO realized that they were on the right track, it is alleged that he shopped it for himself, including conspiring with Port of Mokha and distributor Blue Bottle, to convince unwitting Mocha Mill investors that their product had no value.

This will be an interesting case for Judge Laurel Beeler, one of the better judges on the N.D.Cal. roster.

This blog reports on cases filed in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. The statements made are based on the allegations in court-filed documents. Allegations are just accusations, and may or may not be true.
The authors of the blog are attorneys at the San Francisco litigation firm, Wood Robbins, LLP. If you have a legal issue, send them an email. If they cannot help you, they will try and point you in the right direction.
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Sonnen Motorcars Sues Many for Embezzlement, $7.4 Million

MARIN, CA – This civil complaint follows criminal proceedings against three managers at the Sonnen car dealerships in Marin. The managers are alleged to have orchestrated an embezzlement scheme that primarily involved paying fake advertising vendors. Per the allegations, the payments largely went back to the embezzlers.

Though most of the defendant companies are alleged to be complete shams, at least one is a going business in San Francisco, a glass company called San Francisco MAZ. The complaint alleges members of the Maroufi family were involved in the scam, including the owner of San Francisco MAZ, Maury Maroufi, who the complaint alleges embezzled $38,000 by submitting fake invoices for payment.

Setting up fake vendors is in the top five list of methods embezzlers use to steal from unwitting corporate owners. Be careful out there.

This blog reports on cases filed in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. The statements made are based on the allegations in court-filed documents. Allegations are just accusations, and may or may not be true.
The authors of the blog are attorneys at the San Francisco litigation firm, Wood Robbins, LLP. If you have a legal issue, send them an email. If they cannot help you, they will try and point you in the right direction.