Recently launched CPA Network, BlackTie Network owned by Josh Todd and Michael Guida, both former employees of GetAds has been sued by GetAds. According to an employee at GetAds, who was not authorized to speak for the company, both Todd and Guida, left GetAds within the last year and are accused of illegally taking confidential information, not limited to affiliate databases and customers lists. According to sources, GetAds had found evidence on a computer used by Guida that implicated them stealing data and passing it while Guida was still working for the company.
In a preliminary injunction, issued in Colorado District Court, BlackTie Network has effectively been shut down and prohibited from doing business. In fact, the Court has required that all payments to affiliates be deposited into a trust, and not pay out an affiliates or publishers.
Josh Todd worked from May 2010 to July 2011 with GetAds, working as both an Affiliate Manager and a Marketing Manager, and is reported to have had access to most of the company’s confidential information. Before his employee at GetAds, he had his own affiliate network that also shut down in February 2010.
This court case will play out in Colorado, a State that has already ruled that non-compete clauses in employee contracts are generally invalid. Section 8-2-113(2)(d) of the Colorado State Laws states that there is a prohibition against covenants not to compete, except for “executives and management personnel and officers…” Many states have similar laws that invalidate any contract that prevents employees from plying their trade.
Of course, this case seems to be much more, as GetAds has accused Mr. Todd of stealing actual documents and data – which is not covered by any non-compete and could, depending on the circumstances, be considered criminal in nature. We have been told that GetAds has spoken to law enforcement about this and may seek criminal charges.
In response to the injunction, Mr. Todd originally sent messages to his affiliates disparaging GetAds, claiming that if they wanted their money, they would have to contact GetAds or their attorney. A statement has been issued on the BlackTieNetwork website, claiming that this was a “confusion” and that affiliates would not be issued payments at all.