Boss Worldwide LLC, a Rockland County online sales company, claims a partner secretly diverted its revenues.
Boss Worldwide sued All Out Raw LLC of Olympia, Washington, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on March 15 in federal court in White Plains.
Their partnership quickly soured, the lawsuit alleges, and then the owners of All Out Raw “decided to engage in self-help and grab the entire business for themselves.”
A year ago the competitors had agreed to join forces in the business of teaching people how to sell products online.
Boss Worldwide operates as Algo Online Retail of Pearl River. Algo is 51 percent owned by Asymergy Corp. of Tappan and 49 percent is owned by All Out Raw, which is controlled by Thomas Crabill Jr. and his son, Beau.
They agreed not to compete with one another, according to the lawsuit, and revenues would be paid into Algo’s bank account.
Beau Crabill, who presents himself as a master entrepreneur of online retailing, was the public face of the partnership.
Within eight months, Algo distributed $600,000 to the Crabills, according to the complaint, but by December Beau Crabill was unhappy with the frequency and amount of payments.
Algo claims the Crabills rejected a proposal to let them out of the deal.
Instead, the complaint alleges, the Crabills cut off Algo’s access to online products, routed revenues to their own bank account, deleted customer information from Algo’s online account, removed Algo’s name from their website, told customers and sales staff that Algo had stolen from them and resumed doing business in violation of their noncompete agreement.
Those disputes, the complaint states, are being mediated, as required by their operating agreement, with the American Arbitration Association.
Beau Crabill also filed a takedown request with YouTube, according to the complaint, that disabled use of a promotional video filmed before the partnership collapsed.
Last month, Algo uploaded the video on YouTube to re-establish its online presence, the complaint states.
The 73-second video includes a brief, unidentifiable shot of the back of Beau Crabill, and a sequence of a seminar in which he can be seen on a poster in the background.
Beau Crabill allegedly told YouTube that the video was not authorized by the copyright owner.
Algo claims that the images of Beau Crabill are incidental, that he had consented to the use of his image in the poster and that Algo owns the copyrights.
Algo is asking the court to order the Crabills to restore the video and to cease issuing fraudulent takedown demands.
Beau Crabill said in an email message that an attorney would respond to the allegations. No response has been received.
Algo is represented by Peter A. Sullivan and David A. Kluft of Foley Hoag LP in Manhattan and Boston.