Gravity Payments CEO, Sued by Brother

Credit: MorgueFile

Credit: MorgueFile

King County Superior Court document shows that the Seattle CEO who received widespread recognition after announcing plans to raise his credit card processing company’s minimum salary to $70,000, is now being sued by his brother due to ongoing differences.

Lucas Price, co-founder and director of gravity payment, is accusing his brother, co-founder and CEO Dan Price, of violating his rights as a minority shareholder. According to court records, it is also said that Dan Price is withholding his breaching duties and contracts as well.

These complaints were signed on March 13 and filed April 24, 11 days after Dan Price made the big announcement of the companies pay raise. Attorney Greg Hollon, who is representing Lucas Price, says that Dan Price announcement would play a role in the proceedings but has no relation to the lawsuit.

Documents show that the brother initially founded the company in 2004 as a merchant company calling it Price & Price. In 2006 Dan became CEO. In 2008, the company was reconstructed due to disagreements, later calling it Gravity Payments.

It was during the reconstruction process that Lucas Price agreed to a minority interest and a reduced employee role, which allowed Dan Price to continue as CEO. The brothers entered several contracts, which limited Dan’s compensation as a CEO and protected Lucas minority-shareholder rights.

But Lucas claims that’s his brother excessively paid himself, depriving him of his minority-shareholder benefits. Dan Price apparently paid himself about a million dollars a year before he announced that he would cut his pay to $70,000 to help Gravity raise its employees pay to $70,000 over the next three years.

The court documents show that Lucas Price is asking the court to order Gravity to repurchase his shares and provide a complete accounting of transactions.

But Dan Price is denying all complaints filed against him and says that Lucas Price didn’t raise any concerns about executive compensation or ownership benefits as a Gravity Payment director.

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