Nashville’s Imogene + Willie has grown by leaps and bounds since its start over a decade ago. Owner’s Matt and Carrie Eddmenson have gone from sewing jeans in an old gas station to an international denim brand sold everywhere from Steven Alan to Tenue de Nimes.
But as any small business owner will tell you, growing your company isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. It appears the Eddmenson’s are currently in one of those uncomfortable spots. An article published in Tuesday’s Nashville Post reports that the Eddmensons are being sued in federal court for false representation and fraud over a loan made by investor Robert Anastario in 2012.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee on Friday, alleges that Robert Anastario loaned Imogene + Willie owners Carrie and Matthew Eddmenson $200,000 in 2012. Anastario, who is based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, said in the filing that the contract guaranteed him a 5 percent equity payment if the company sold, and a 15 percent ownership interested in case of default.
The suit alleges the Eddmensons defaulted on their first payment in January 2013 as well as subsequent payments until April 2013.
Furthermore, the filing claims Imogene + Willie sold its assets to a newly formed company, Count Drizzle, in July 2013 without notifying Anastario. The filing alleges the Eddmensons are the owners of Count Drizzle, which was chartered in Colorado. (via Nashville Post)
Basically, the lawsuit claims that Matt and Carrie put up 5 points of Imogene + Willie if they sold and 15 points if they defaulted for a loan of $200k. They apparently stopped making payments on the loan in January of 2013, but instead of giving Anastario his 15 percent they transferred their ownership of I+W to a shell company in Colorado called Count Drizzle, presumably so he can’t come after them.
According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, “Count Drizzle, LLC” (which, as we all know, is Matt Eddmenson’s vampire rap alter-ego) was registered to the I+W office at 1310 Clinton St. in Nashville on June 20, 2013–ain’t the internet great? They’ve since changed the company’s name from “Count Drizzle, LLC” to “Imogene and Willie, LLC”. Kinda fishy, but it doesn’t really amount to anything unless things played out the way Anastario’s complaint claims.
We’ve reached out to both Imogene + Willie and to Mr. Anastario but neither has responded for comment. No word on if this will affect anything other than the behind-the-scenes operations in Nashville, but we’ll keep you up to date as things develop. For now, here’s a Count Drizzle video:
If this ever makes it to court, I really hope this is included as evidence.