CINCINNATI — Jimmy Flynt filed a pair of federal suits last week targeting the Flynt Management Group, accused of wrongfully firing him, and his lawyers, who are alleged to have facilitated his firing and failed to protect his business interests.
In the $20 million wrongful discharge suit against Flynt Management Group, Jimmy Flynt claims that Larry Flynt cut him out of the business after a lawsuit involving Jimmy Flynt's sons and their startup, Flynt Media Corp.
Jimmy Flynt claims Flynt Management Group discharged him despite "repeated specific and unequivocal promises and assurances to Jimmy of continued and indefinite employment at/within Hustler."
Larry Flynt sued Jimmy Flynt II and Dustin Flynt in 2009, alleging trademark infringement over using the Flynt Media Corp. labeling on porn.
According to the suit, "Larry made threats to Jimmy that if he could not make the lawsuit go away (i.e., if he could not persuade his sons to give in to Larry's demands) then he would 'cut him off' financially. Larry told Jimmy that he would take his (Jimmy's) compensation/salary to fund the lawsuit that he instituted against Jimmy's sons. Larry was blunt and unequivocal in threatening economic adversity and harm to Jimmy unless Jimmy was willing and able to exert sufficient and effective fatherly influence to affect the outcome of Larry's federal lawsuit in Larry's favor."
Later, "Larry embarked on a course of action intending to wrongfully discharge/terminate Jimmy and otherwise 'squeeze' Jimmy out of the Hustler business/enterprise."
"First, Larry gave the directive to Flynt Management Group to stop Jimmy's pay. ... No explanation was given to Jimmy. At one point in late February 2009, in violation of the law, Flynt Management Group direct deposited funds into Jimmy's checking account and then a few hours later, took them back out. Jimmy sought an explanation but none was provided.
"After Jimmy's pay had been stopped, in early April of 2009, Larry sent Jimmy two legal bills incurred in connection with his lawsuit against Jimmy's sons and asked that Jimmy pay those bills directly."
Jimmy Flynt said that alarm bells sounded loudest when a Hustler employee called his Hustler Cincinnati store and asked an accountant to "loan $400,000 from Hustler Cincinnati LLC to LFP Internet Group LLC (one of the entities within the Hustler enterprise) in connection with a mysterious 'major project' that the 'internet group' was working on."
When the accountant told Jimmy Flynt of the request, he told her not to make the transfer and that the Hustler employee responded, "This is going to be a problem."
"Larry [Flynt] has admitted that he gave the directive in or around April of 2009 to use a fraudulent promissory note/loan in an effort to obtain 'excess cash' from the bank account(s)/possession of Hustler Cincinnati Inc. Larry believed that he was entitled to those proceeds even though Jimmy was/is the sole shareholder/owner of Hustler Cincinnati Inc," the complaint said. "There was no 'major Internet project,' no other divisions were requested to loan 'excess cash' and Larry/LFP Internet Group LLC had no intention of paying the requested $400,000 loan back."
One week later, Jimmy Flynt said, Larry Flynt tried to evict Hustler Cincinnati from its downtown premises and Flynt Management Group sent him a letter, "advising him that his purported position as an 'unpaid consultant' was being terminated by Flynt Management Group."
Jimmy Flynt seeks $10 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages for wrongful firing and breach of contract in the first suit.
In his second federal lawsuit, Jimmy Flynt sued attorney Paul Cambria Jr. and four other attorneys, and the Buffalo, N.Y. law firm of Lipsitz, Green, Scime and Cambria.
Jimmy Flynt, in the suit, claimed the attorneys misrepresented him in several real estate ventures and asset transfers and took action against him, in a conflict of interest, to get him fired from Flynt Management Group.
The attorneys also "failed to properly advise, counsel and guide Jimmy and Hustler Cincinnati Inc. as to their trademark and intellectual property rights with respect to use of the Hustler name/mark, in connection with retail services in downtown Cincinnati."
Further, Jimmy Flynt said, the attorneys "participated in and/or were complicit with an attempted scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $400,000 from Hustler Cincinnati at the request of Larry in April of 2009, to include the drafting of a fraudulent promissory note which violated Ohio's securities laws."
Finally, Jimmy Flynt said, the attorneys helped facilitate his firing from Flynt Management Group "so as to create the opportunity for Cambria and the Lipsitz Green firm to have increased power and control of the Hustler Enterprise, to protect their retainer agreement and yearly revenue stream and to otherwise increase the likelihood of increased revenues and professional fees in the years to come."
Jimmy Flynt seeks $1 million in compensatory, as well as $1 million punitive damages against the lawyers.
Both suits were filed at U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.