FASHION LAW: ALEX AND ANI EXEC LEGAL DISPUTE CONTINUES
D-Day is set for October 27th in Providence Superior Court—at least for positive energy jewelry brand Alex and Ani. The ongoing legal dispute between Cranston, RI-based accessories company Alex and Ani and former executive for the brand, Michael Mota, has certainly taken heed over the past few years. In response to a lawsuit filed by Mota, the company and its founder Carolyn Rafaelian are seeking dismissal of all charges.
In 2012, Mota acted as Vice President of sales at ad agency Mediapeel and worked closely with Alex and Ani’s former interim CEO Giovanni Feroce aiding the companys purchase of Mediapeel and reorganization into Seven Swords.
Mota states that during his time with the company annual sales were about $1 million with a total of 20 employees. Upon becoming Seven Swords’ VP of Development, Mota claims he was promised equity compensation by Feroce in the form of stock options before exiting the company in 2014. Mota claims Feroce’s departure indicated “many systematic firings of male executives” to include seven senior level executives, who are also named in the suit. Mota further highlights his involvement in facilitating the buyout of Seven Swords’ media and marketing division by GoGo Media Networks—a deal that was supposed to warrant Mota $250,000 of GoGo Media stock and an additional $100,000 upon joining the company.
Mota’s complaint, a whopping 26-pager, cites charges such as: wrongful termination; breach of contract; defamation; computer theft and false imprisonment; among a slew of other charges. In response to this suit, Alex and Ani’s legal representation at Adler, Pollock & Sheehan filed a motion to dismiss all charges.
When asked about the legal suit, a representative of Alex and Ani said “Mr. Mota was terminated from Seven Swords Media LLC more than a year ago when his position was eliminated as part of a restructuring of Seven Swords. He never worked for Alex and Ani. However, even if he had not otherwise been terminated as part of the Seven Swords restructuring, there were numerous documented, legitimate and nondiscriminatory grounds that supported his termination from Seven Swords…Mr. Mota’s allegations are both factually and legally wrong, and the company will vigorously defend this suit.”