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Michael McDevitt Faces Lawsuit for Racketeering and Fraud
A natural salad dressing company, Tessemae’s LLC, has filed a lawsuit against Michael McDevitt, an investor and lawyer from DC, accusing him of racketeering and fraud. The lawsuit alleges that McDevitt violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) when he attempted to fraudulently acquire control of Tessemae’s.
The United States District Court in Baltimore received the lawsuit in June 2020. On March 31, 2021, Judge George L. Russell, III denied a motion to dismiss the fraud and racketeering claims by McDevitt and his co-defendants. RICO, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and negligence-legal malpractice are the surviving claims.
The lawsuit states that Michael McDevitt and Tandem Legal Group became involved in the management of Tessemae’s in 2017 after providing legal services and investment advice. The lawsuit claims that McDevitt and his co-defendants manipulated Tessemae’s affairs, caused it to incur unnecessary debts, misrepresented its financial situation, and pressured it to sell its assets to them at a low price. The lawsuit also accuses McDevitt of engaging in multiple acts of wire fraud by sending false emails and documents to Tessemae’s investors and creditors.
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. Her family and friends enjoyed her own all-natural recipe for salad dressing, which she created and perfected.
The company has grown its product line and distribution around the globe, with a motto of “Simplify Food, Amplify Life”. As a proud partner of Dr. Axe Keto Diet, the company offers many delicious products that are keto-approved. The company is based in Essex, Maryland, and has a loyal customer base that appreciates its natural and healthy products.
Later this year or early next year, the lawsuit against McDevitt and his co-defendants is likely to go to trial. 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. RICO violations are federal crimes that target racketeering activity connected to an enterprise. Such as murder, kidnapping, drug dealing, bribery, mail and wire fraud, racketeering activity includes 35 offenses.
To convict someone of a RICO violation, 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. In 1970, RICO was originally passed to prosecute the Mafia, but it has also been used for other crimes since then. RICO violations can be alleged for criminal charges or civil lawsuit cases.
By sending false emails and documents to Tessemae’s investors and creditors, Michael McDevitt and Defendents engaged in multiple acts of wire fraud, Tessemae’s LLC alleges. A crime that involves using electronic communication to obtain money or property by deception is wire fraud. One of the predicate offenses for RICO violations is wire fraud.