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spends 5,000 per month running – a cost that is larger than the advertising revenue Proper Media says the website brings in.'Bardav's claims of financial distress are gravely concerning,' said Proper Media.
'Mikkelson, by his own admission, is operating Bardav at a monthly deficit and cannot be trusted with the Bardav purse strings.''[N]otably, while he argues that Bardav is on the brink of collapse, [Mikkelson] signed his declaration in Orleans, France,' continued Proper Media.
The lawsuit also claims Mikkelson conspired with a former Proper Media employee named Vincent Green in an attempt to seize majority control of Bardav Inc. Green, a Marine veteran who was vice president of operations at Proper Media, allegedly became close with Mikkelson while working on the website as part of his responsibilities at the advertising company.'Throughout his employment, Green worked extensively on the Snopes website, and, as a result, came to personally know and befriend Mikkelson,' said the lawsuit.
In late February, Proper Media claims that Green removed the company's access to the Snopes content-management system, fired three Proper Media employees, and seized thousands of dollars of computer equipment from Proper Media's offices.'On information and belief, Green did so in conspiracy with and at the direction of Mikkelson,' claimed the lawsuit.
In legal papers filed in San Diego Superior Court, they say: 'But while Snopes is built entirely around the concepts of transparency and truth, its founder, Defendant David Mikkelson ('Mikkelson') has engaged in a lengthy scheme of concealment and subterfuge to gain control of the company and to drain its profits.'The company says Mikkelson unilaterally broke the advertising contract earlier this year and has bristled at shareholder efforts to rein in his spending.
They note that even as Mikkelson claimed to be under financial duress in court filings in June, he signed the documents while on a trip to Orleans, France.'If Mikkelson is permitted to continue unabated as a director of Bardav, he will irreversibly drain the company of important financial resources through personal and unnecessary expenditures,' said Proper Media in the lawsuit.
That month, he is also accused of removing 'Snopes-related data from Proper Media's communication and project-management tools, including Slack and Asana.'That same day, Mikkelson allegedly terminated a business agreement with Proper Media to run the advertising, effective 60 days later.The lawsuit claims Mikkelson spent money on Young, who he married last year.