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The federal lawsuit, which was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas, accuses four former Karma Automotive employees of stealing trade secrets and launching a new business that will redesign the well-known DeLorean car for the EV era.
Former CEO Joost de Vries, Chief Operating Officer Alan Yuan, Chief Marketing Officer Troy Beetz, and Vice President of Brand and Creative Neilo Harris are named in the lawsuit. The four were tasked with working on “Project 88,” a DeLorean restoration project, and were former Karma Automotive employees.
The four executives allegedly pitched a new company and sought out investments while still working for Karma, claims the lawsuit. It was alleged that they conducted business using Karma company email addresses and company vehicles between December 2020 and February 2022. The four were also charged with hiding information from Karma Automotive executives in order to make Project 88 fail.
After de Vries resigned from Karma Automotive, the four executives founded DeLorean Motors Reimagined LLC in November 2021. However, Yuan, Beetz, and Harris remained employed by Karma until February 2022. The four were being sued for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and tortious interference. Violation of federal and state laws was being claimed by Karma Automotive.
The DeLorean Motors Reimagined LLC sells cars under the DeLorean Motor Company name, which launched the Alpha5 EV this year. The electric coupe will be shown to the public at Pebble Beach this weekend. DMC revealed three more concepts under the Alpha name back in July.
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