Upper Deck's family squabble has taken yet another bizarre turn. Less than two months after being sued by Upper Deck's international side, the U.S.-based group has filed a counterclaim in U.S. District Court, alleging the head of Upper Deck International tried to steal the company for $1.35 while CEO Richard McWilliam was seeking treatment for health issues.
Upper Deck International had claimed McWilliam cost the company huge amounts of money by mishandling an agreement with Konami Digital Entertainment over the distribution of Yu Gi Oh! cards. Upper Deck settled a claim with Konami after non-licensed cards wound up being sold to the public. Konami sued Upper Deck for $64 million, but the two sides eventually reached a settlement.
Now, Upper Deck Nevada claims Upper Deck International's CEO, Nico Blauw, is the bad guy.
In court papers, UDN says the Netherlands-based Blauw was brought on board in 2008 to run the three separate entities that make up the company including the two divisions based in the U.S. because McWilliam had undergone open heart surgery and an addition to alcohol and prescription medication that eventually landed him at the Betty Ford Center.
In September of last year, the counterclaim alleges Blauw convinced a troubled McWilliam to sell more than 50% of UDI to him for one Euro, which translates into about $1.35.
According to the countersuit filed last Thursday, McWilliam was "re-admitted into a rehabilitation center for substance abuse."
You can digest the contents here: UD vs UDI Counterclaim