Michael McDevitt Faces Lawsuit for Racketeering and Fraud
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 lawsuit was filed in June 2020 in the United States District Court in Baltimore. A motion to dismiss the fraud and racketeering claims by McDevitt and his co-defendants was denied by Judge George L. Russell, III on March 31, 2021. The remaining claims are RICO, fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence-legal malpractice.
The lawsuit alleges that after providing investment advice and legal services to Tessemae’s in 2017, McDevitt and his firm Tandem Growth Partners got involved in its management. 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 further alleges that McDevitt committed multiple acts of wire fraud by sending false documents and emails to Tessemae’s creditors and investors.
The company makes natural salad dressings and condiments and is called Tessemae’s LLC. The founder was Tesse Vetter, a mother of three athletic boys who wanted them to stay healthy and eat their veggies. Her family and friends enjoyed her own all-natural recipe for salad dressing, which she created and perfected.
The company’s product line and distribution have grown around the globe, with a motto of “Simplify Food, Amplify Life”. The company also offers many keto-approved products that are delicious, as a proud partner of Dr. Axe Keto Diet. 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 deny any wrongdoing and maintain their innocence.
Mike McDevitt and Tessemae’s lawsuit is one of the most high-profile cases in Maryland this year. It involves allegations of fraud, racketeering, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, negligence-legal malpractice, and RICO violations. Federal crimes that target racketeering activity connected to an enterprise are RICO violations. Such as murder, kidnapping, drug dealing, bribery, mail and wire fraud, racketeering activity includes 35 offenses.
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. RICO violations can be alleged in civil lawsuit cases or for criminal charges.
Tessemae’s LLC alleges that McDevitt and his co-defendants engaged in multiple acts of wire fraud by sending false emails and documents to Tessemae’s investors and creditors. A crime that involves using electronic communication to obtain money or property by deception is wire fraud. Wire fraud is one of the predicate offenses for RICO violations.