Legal dispute around Milady NFTs accelerates with Delaware countersuit
A convoluted online fight — between people claiming to be the founders of NFT collection Milady’s parent company — has accelerated into a court battle with millions of dollars at stake
Lightspring/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks
A growing dispute over the Milady Maker NFT collection’s leadership has evolved from online drama to a courtroom battle.
Four people affiliated with the Remilia Corporation — John Duff, Henry Smith, Maxwell Roux and Bruno Nispel — have accused Krishna Okhandiar of the misappropriation of millions of dollars and an attempt to take sole control of the company, which oversees the NFT collection.
The lawsuit, filed Sept. 22, comes in the wake of a separate lawsuit filed by Okhandiar earlier this month. Combined, the group have all claimed to either be founders or co-founders of the project.
The popular Milady NFTs hit the market in August 2021. On OpenSea, the collection has a total volume of 82,902 ETH (over $131 million at the time of writing) and boasts a current floor price of 2.27 ETH (nearly $3,600).
Disputes on multiple different levels between individuals at Remilia, previously thought to be a DAO, have been brewing since Okhandiar, also known as Charlotte Fang, was revealed in a May 2022 document release to be behind the inflammatory online persona “Miya.”
At the time, Okhandiar said he’d be taking a break from Remilia, despite saying that “Miya” had nothing to do with the Milady project. He said he handed control to Henry Smith and Bruno Nispel, two of the individuals behind the new lawsuit.
Acrimony between the five individuals most closely associated with Milady and Remilia reignited once more when Okhandiar claimed that an unknown developer seized control of Milady and Remilia social media accounts as well as $1 million worth of generated fees. These allegations were contained in a lawsuit filed by Okhandiar on Sept. 10.
In their countersuit, the plaintiffs claimed that Okhandiar essentially forced them out of the Remilia Corporation (RemCo), the company behind Milady NFTs. That, despite their claimed activities as NFT artists who say they introduced Okhandiar to the world of non-fungible tokens in 2021.
The Friday court filing alleged that all five members were to be considered co-founders and have equity in the company, but they claimed that the supposed plan never materialized.
“Okhandiar failed and refused to provide to Plaintiffs a sign [sic] shareholders’ agreement or provide to Plaintiffs any corporate formation documents of any kind, such as an operating agreement or membership roll,” the suit alleged. “Okhandiar failed to issue any equity in either RemCorp or RemIndustries to the Plaintiffs despite his written promises to do so.”
Okhandiar’s suit against Duff, Smith and Roux paints a substantially different picture.
Okhandiar claims that he was the sole founder of Remilia in January 2021 and that he is the only leader of the company. He also claims that Duff, Smith and Roux aren’t employees or equity holders of the company. Rather, they’re independent contractors, the lawsuit states.
Duff, Smith, Roux and also Bruno Nispel instead argue that they’re owed unpaid salaries and bonuses. They claim that money went to Okhandiar.
“Okhandiar, improperly using his control of the Collective Venture’s multi-signature wallet, transferred approximately $600,000 worth of Remilia’s digital assets […] to his personal wallet as arbitrary unilateral ‘bonuses’ to himself,” according to the filing.
Okhandiar is also alleged to have removed the plaintiffs from a multi-signature wallet controlling Remilia’s treasury. The suit claims he drained the wallet of an additional $1.7 million.
Beyond the accusations of theft of funds and a corporate coup, the plaintiffs once again raised up the year-old “Miya” scandal involving Okhandiar and his penchant for engaging in callous, antagonizing behavior on the internet.
The court filing includes an alleged list of Okhandiar’s aliases in online communities, including Charlotte Fang, among others.
Roux, one of the plaintiffs, claims he was called multiple different slurs by Okhandiar in chat messages.
“The working experience is far from pleasant or acceptable. Okhandiar subjects the other Founding Group members and employees to verbal abuse and harassment,” according to the filing. “Despite the abuse, the Founding Group members continued to work on the Collective Venture’s NFT Projects.”
The four people claiming to be Remilia founders have demanded unpaid wages and the creation of a constructive trust containing the assets, funds and intellectual property in the form of the NFTs they made.
Blockworks reached out to attorneys representing Okhandiar and the four other Remilia-affiliated individuals but didn’t receive an immediate response.
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