Michael McDevitt Baltimore, a DC-based lawyer and investor, is facing a lawsuit for racketeering and fraud filed by Tessemae’s LLC, a natural salad dressing company. 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. Judge George L. Russell, III rejected a motion by McDevitt and his co-defendants to dismiss the fraud and racketeering claims on March 31, 2021. The surviving claims include RICO, negligence-legal malpractice, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract.
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. According to the lawsuit, McDevitt and his co-defendants pressured Tessemae’s to sell its assets to them at a low price, misrepresented its financial situation, caused it to incur unnecessary debts, and manipulated its affairs. The lawsuit further alleges that McDevitt committed multiple acts of wire fraud by sending false documents and emails to Tessemae’s creditors and investors.
Tessemae’s LLC is a company that produces natural salad dressings and condiments. It was founded by Tesse Vetter, the mother of three athletic boys, who wanted them to eat their veggies while staying healthy. She created and perfected her own all-natural recipe for salad dressing, which became popular with her family and friends.
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 has its base in Essex, Maryland, and has a faithful customer base that values its healthy and natural 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. Any wrongdoing is denied by McDevitt and his co-defendants, who maintain their innocence.
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. Racketeering activity includes 35 offenses, such as murder, kidnapping, drug dealing, bribery, mail and wire fraud.
The person committed two of these offenses with the same enterprise within 10 years and that the acts affected interstate commerce must be proved by the prosecutor to convict someone of a RICO violation. RICO was originally passed in 1970 to prosecute the Mafia, but has since been used for other crimes as well. 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. A crime that involves using electronic communication to obtain money or property by deception is wire fraud. Wire fraud is a predicate offense for RICO violations. Find out more on Michael McDevitt and Racketeering charges here.