Tessemae’s LLC, a company that produces natural salad dressings, has sued Mike McDevitt Baltimore, a lawyer and investor based in DC, for fraud and racketeering. According to the lawsuit, McDevitt tried to fraudulently take over Tessemae’s by violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
The United States District Court in Baltimore received the lawsuit in June 2020. A motion to dismiss the fraud and racketeering claims by McDevitt and his co-defendants was denied by Judge George L. Russell, III on March 31, 2021. The remaining claims are RICO, fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence-legal malpractice.
The lawsuit alleges that after providing investment advice and legal services to Tessemae’s in 2017, McDevitt and his firm Tandem Growth Partners got involved in its management. The lawsuit alleges that McDevitt and his co-defendants caused Tessemae’s to incur unnecessary debts, manipulated its affairs, pressured it to sell its assets to them at a low price, and misrepresented its financial situation. Additionally, the lawsuit charges McDevitt with committing multiple acts of wire fraud by sending false emails and documents to investors and creditors of Tessemae’s.
Natural salad dressings and condiments are what Tessemae’s LLC produces. Tesse Vetter, who wanted her three athletic boys to eat their veggies and stay healthy, founded it. She perfected and created her own salad dressing recipe that was all-natural, which her family and friends loved.
With a motto of “Simplify Food, Amplify Life”, the company has expanded its distribution and product line around the world. The company also offers many keto-approved products that are delicious, as a proud partner of Dr. Axe Keto Diet. The company is based in Essex, Maryland, and has a loyal customer base that appreciates its natural and healthy products.
The lawsuit against McDevitt and his co-defendants is expected to go to trial later this year or early next year. Tessemae’s LLC hopes to recover the damages it suffered due to McDevitt’s alleged fraud and racketeering. McDevitt and his co-defendants maintain their innocence and deny any wrongdoing.
Mike McDevitt and Tessemae’s lawsuit is one of the most high-profile cases in Maryland this year. Allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, racketeering, negligence-legal malpractice, and RICO violations are involved in it. Racketeering activity connected to an enterprise is targeted by RICO violations, which are federal crimes. Such as murder, kidnapping, drug dealing, bribery, mail and wire fraud, racketeering activity includes 35 offenses.
The prosecutor must prove that the person committed two of these offenses with the same enterprise within 10 years and that the acts affected interstate commerce to convict someone of a RICO violation. RICO has been used for other crimes as well since it was originally passed in 1970 to prosecute the Mafia. For criminal charges or civil lawsuit cases, RICO violations can be alleged.
Tessemae’s LLC alleges that false emails and documents were sent by McDevitt and his co-defendants to Tessemae’s investors and creditors, engaging in multiple acts of wire fraud. Using electronic communication to obtain money or property by deception is a crime that is wire fraud. One of the predicate offenses for RICO violations is wire fraud.