Imogene + Willie Investors Accuse Owners of Fraud, Attempt Bankruptcy
Hark! Count Drizzle’s revenge is upon us! Almost two years ago, we covered Nashville denim brand Imogene + Willie‘s federal lawsuit with a former investor (and the strange vampire rap conspiracy within it). It appears Count Drizzle (co-owner Matt Eddmenson’s vampire rap alter-ego and the shell company implicated in their lawsuit last January) has struck again and the Barton isn’t the only thing missing from the I+W inventory.
According to The Tennessean:
Colorado residents Robert Lamey and Paige Heid, minority members and the largest creditors of Imogene + Willie, filed an emergency motion this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Colorado to appoint a Chapter 11 trustee to take control of the company launched seven years ago by Carrie and Matthew Eddmenson.
According to the filing, Lamey and Heid invested $1.5 million in Imogene + Willie in 2013 for a 46.5 percent stake in the company, with the caveat the money would be used to manufacture more clothing, hire new employees, open additional stores and grow the business by expanding offerings beyond jeans and T-shirts.
The Eddmensons instead used the money on personal luxuries such as shopping trips to Barney’s and Nordstrom, a motorcycle, and a home renovation, the filing says.
Okay, so maybe it’s just another misunderstanding and the investors don’t actually know about the inner workings of a company. It’s not like they can corroborate this with anyone on the inside, right?
In court papers, Celia Hughes, Imogene + Willie’s former chief financial officer, said the company’s accounting books contained many “red flags.”
She cited a $10,000 motorcycle, spa trips, and home renovations such as a new bath, doors, furnishings, and window treatments as examples of the Eddmensons’ mismanagement of company funds.
Oh, they have the CFO on record. Nevermind, then! Lamey and Heid intend for a judge to replace the Eddmensons as they believe the pair to live, “a lavish lifestyle of personal indulgence while failing to meet any of the critical deadlines for developing a wholesale business.”
The company now has 20 days to respond to the notice, but in a message to the Tennessean, they laid their intentions as, “The company is planning to sue Bob Lamey and Paige Heid for breach of fiduciary duties and to invalidate what Lamey and Heid contend to be a loan, which was in actuality, an equity investment in the company.”
According to several retailers, it’s been difficult to get their jeans in stock, presumably because in most places you can’t pay for clothing production in motorcycles and spa treatments (Drizzle’s gotta keep his youthful glow). So if you’re a fan of the brand, it might be a good idea pick up what you can now.
Perhaps in the future, they shouldn’t leave their accounting to Eddie “Money” Munster: