The embattled Upper Crust pizza chain, already under federal investigation for its labor practices, is now riven by a nasty battle for control of the company among its co-owners, who are accusing each other of misusing corporate funds for personal extravagances such as a private airplane.
The fight is spelled out in a complaint and counterclaim filed in Suffolk Superior Court by Upper Crust co-owners Joshua Huggard and Brendan Higgins on one side, and founder Jordan Tobins on the other.
In April, Huggard and Higgins sued Tobins, accusing him of looting the upscale Boston pizza chain by charging more than $750,000 in personal expenses to the company, including buying a Cessna airplane. They asked the court to force Tobins to surrender his stakes in Upper Crust and its related businesses.
The pair also alleged that Tobins misused corporate checks for a down payment on a home, falsely claimed personal trips to the Cayman Islands and Nantucket as business expenses, and put his wife on the Upper Crust payroll even though she did not work for the company. The partners said that Tobins’s “reckless spending” endangered Upper Crust’s finances at a time it was waging an expensive legal defense over its labor practices.
“Instead of focusing on the Upper Crust business, in the last three to four years Jordan has spent more time on his yacht, in his vacation home, playing with his Cessna airplane (which he purchased for himself with Upper Crust funds), and in Florida (where there is an Upper Crust Pizza location which he claims is owned and operated by his father) than in the office or working on Upper Crust matters,” Huggard and Higgins alleged in their complaint.
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