Friday, August 29, 2008

Forba Holding, LLC Sues Adventure Dental and Vision (Hero Management, Ron Montano)

I reported a month or so ago about Ron Montano, his dental management company, Hero Management and his string of clinics called Adventure Dental and Vision.  I reported that he used to work for Small Smiles.  His separation from the company is conflicting, I've heard he quit, I've heard he was fired...not that it really matters.

Well, in April 2007 Forba Holding file a lawsuit again Ron Montano and Hero Management and the cause in question is the "Economic Espionage Act of 1996, section 18:1831.  Forba was demanding $350,000 in damages according to the suit.  Cause Number 2007cv00675.  This particular case was dismissed on September 21, 2007 with both parties agreeing not to pursue this any further.  I suspect Forba really didn't want ALL their trade secrets being aired in open court don't you?

According to Wikipedia the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 is as follows:

The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (see RFD 18 U.S.C. § 1831) makes the theft or misappropriation of a trade secret a federal crime.

This law contains two sections criminalizing two sorts of activity. The first, 18 U.S.C. § 1831(a), criminalizes the misappropriation of trade secrets (including conspiracy to misappropriate trade secrets and the subsequent acquisition of such misappropriated trade secrets) with the knowledge or intent that the theft will benefit a foreign power. Penalties for violation are fines of up to US$500,000 per offense and imprisonment of up to 15 years for individuals, and fines of up to US$10 million for organizations,

The second section, 18 U.S.C. § 1832, criminalizes the misappropriation of trade secrets related to or included in a product that is produced for or placed in interstate (including international) commerce, with the knowledge or intent that the misappropriation will injure the owner of the trade secret. Penalties for violation of section 1832 are imprisonment for up to 10 years for individuals (no fines) and fines of up to US$5 million for organizations.

In addition to these specific penalties, section 1834 of the EEA also requires criminal forfeiture of (1) any proceeds of the crime and property derived from proceeds of the crime and (2) any property used, or intended to be used, in commission of the crime.

The Act authorizes civil proceedings by the Department of Justice to enjoin violations of the Act, but does not create a private cause of action. Thus, victims or putative victims must work with the U.S. Attorney in order to obtain an injunction.

I don't really understand exactly why it was Forba vs Hero since this is a criminal act and Forba would have to file a criminal complaint with the US Attorney to get this suit filed and according to the filings this is a civil suit. 

Anyway, evidently Forba says Ron Montano took some 'trade' secrets with him when he left Small Smiles and is using them to profit from his Adventure Dental and Vision clinics.

The attorney for Forba was William T. Slamkowski of Hensley, Kim and Holzer in Denver.  The attorney for Ron Montano  was Brett Painter of Davis, Graham and & Stubbs in Denver.


Ok, I finally got my hands of the law suit and Forba was ticked off because two of their employees, besides Ron himself went over to Adventure Dental at the time it was called Captain Smiles.  The two others that jumped Forba's ship was Joseph Lee and Adam Ditto.  Lee and Ditto supposed took all this sensitive info over to Montano....

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