NEW YORK, July 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- European private equity funds Remora Capital S.A. and Remora Partners S.A., representedby Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, filed a lawsuit today against the owners of the "Dukan Diet" alleging a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of dollars in business loans from Remora to market their diet in the United States
The "Dukan Diet," invented by Dr. Pierre Dukan, grew to notoriety after reports in 2011 that Kate Middleton had followed it before her wedding to Britain's Prince William, the lawsuit notes. Other celebrities reported to have followed the diet include Jennifer Lopez, Penelope Cruz, and Gisele Bundchen, according to the lawsuit.
Remora, a Swiss private equity company, entered into multiple loan agreements with Diet Coaching Inc., which was set up by Dukan and his immediate family to market the diet in the United States. Under the agreements, the loans were either to be repaid with interest or converted into equity either in Diet Coaching or in its parent company, Duvalec.
"Integral to the Dukan Family's business plan was an overarching scheme to fraudulently obtain financing and strategic financial advisory services from Plaintiffs without any intention of fulfilling their contractual obligations to either repay or convert the loans provided by Plaintiffs into equity in Diet Coaching or Duvalec," according to the complaint.
For example, in August 2013, the defendants fraudulently induced the plaintiffs to provide a convertible loan of $300,000, to be converted into Diet Coaching shares, and breached their contractual obligation to convert the loan.
Remora continued to provide loans to Diet Coaching and its European equivalent, Regime Coach S.A., and did not discover the fraud until late 2014, when Regime Coach defaulted on its loans.
Remora has already won judgments in Luxembourg and France over similar loans made to the Dukan entities there. The latest lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, seeks to recover the money it was fraudulently induced to lend or invest, as well as damages for breach of contract and other harm.
Pierre Dukan's promotion of his diet plan led to revocation of his license to practice medicine by France's national medical board in 2012. His wife Marie, son Sacha, and daughter Maya, are also named as defendants in the lawsuit and are believed to be direct and indirect beneficiaries of the stolen funds.
Remora Capital is a Swiss holding company whose investment strategy involves acting as lead investor in European start-ups backed by intangible assets. Remora Partners is the investment advisory arm of Remora capital, focused on investing at the innovation and growth stages in start-ups in the healthcare, beauty, and nutrition industries.
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SOURCE Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
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