Xapo CEO Wences Casares has countered legal action taken against him and four other Xapo employees with a cross-complaint alleging wrongdoing on the part of LifeLock.
LifeLock provides digital identify theft protection solutions, and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, currently valued at $741 million.
It acquired digital wallet platform Lemon in December 2013 for $42.6 million. Casares and four other members of the Xapo team were the founders of Lemon, and LifeLock claims rights to their services. Lifelock alleges that the team illegally used intellectual property from Lemon to create Xapo’s solution, in breach of contract between the parties.
Casares et al counter that LifeLock was aware of their activities and forfeited any claim to the project they were developing. They attempted to have the case dismissed on the grounds of inadequate evidence, but their motion was denied.
In another attempt to strengthen their position, Xapo’s team have recently filed a counter-complaint against LifeLock, alleging: “LifeLock’s highly dysfunctional management proved itself to be adept at corporate infighting and bureaucracy, and ultimately unwilling to support the innovative Lemon team that it had acquired, or to permit that team to be led by Casares without interference.”
For example, they allege that LifeLock interfered with Casares’ management of the Lemon team after the acquisition, ultimately leading to Lemon’s failure. Casares and his team were later fired by LifeLock. Casares is seeking damages and a jury trial.
The case in being handled in the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara.
Xapo is one of the crypto industry’s top-funded startups, receiving a total of $40 million to date.