A former Uber executive is being sued by a Long Beach-based shipping and logistics company where he was once a board member for allegedly stealing trade secrets to launch a rival freight-forwarding company backed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and other top tech investors, according to court documents obtained Wednesday.
Vanguard Logistics Services accuses Fraser Robinson of deception by joining its board and violating his responsibility to shareholders by allegedly stealing confidential information and using it to secretly establish London-based Beacon Technologies Ltd., according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles federal court.
A spokesperson for Beacon expressed surprise that Vanguard had filed suit.
“The papers have not yet been issued by the court and have not been served,” according to the company’s statement. “What we have seen so far is an ill-thought-out action which is entirely without merit and which has been brought in the wrong jurisdiction. Any claim will be robustly defended.”
Robinson oversaw Uber’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa before announcing his intention to leave the company in December 2017, and later became involved with Vanguard, according to the complaint.
“We trusted Fraser Robinson as a director and fiduciary of the company, this included legal stipulations around non-disclosures and protection of Vanguard’s IP (intellectual property), and he betrayed that trust,” a Vanguard spokesperson alleged.
The lawsuit alleges fraud, theft of trade secrets, deceptive business practices and other violations, and seeks compensatory and punitive damages.