A childhood buddy and ex-colleague are suing Australia’s youngest millionaire and his business partner in an internet casino venture for more than $500 million.
According to court filings, the owners of Stake.com, Ed Craven, 27, and Bijan Tehrani, 28, are accused of kicking Christopher Freeman out of their company and of permitting unlawful cryptocurrency gaming on their casino platform.
Growing up in Connecticut, the United States, Mr. Freeman was Mr. Tehrani’s closest friend. Ten years ago, they collaborated on Primedice, their first web business venture.
Mr. Craven, the country’s youngest millionaire, paid over $120 million for two houses in Toorak, Melbourne, including a $88 million “ghost mansion,” which is thought to be the country’s second most expensive home.
Before Mr. Tehrani and Mr. Craven broke from Mr. Freeman and formed Stake.com, the three created bitcoin dice gaming website Primedice in 2013.
In New York’s Southern District Court, Mr. Freeman is suing the couple for $588 million in damages on the grounds that he was wrongfully kicked out of the company.
According to an additional legal suit Freeman recently filed in court, “Freeman is entitled to no less than a 20% stake in Stake.com in addition to the payments past due to him from Primedice and in other alternative cryptocurrencies, which total an amount not less than $US200m.”
Freeman said in court papers seen by Daily Mail Australia that after Primedice’s first success in 2016, he encouraged the business to expand into more online bitcoin gambling games.
According to Mr. Freeman, Tehrani and Craven transformed Primedice into Stake.com in 2016 by taking use of the business prospects created by the idea.
In August 2022, he filed a legal lawsuit in New York, saying that he had been wrongfully excluded from Stake and asking for $400 million in damages.
According to court records, Mr. Freeman also charged the pair with providing a variety of online gambling choices, including a dice game that directly competes with Primedice and devalues it.
According to court documents, Freeman claims that in August 2016, Mr. Tehrani and Mr. Craven informed him that it would be too expensive to build a virtual casino and that instead they planned to open a physical casino in Australia. They also allegedly said that if he wanted to participate in this project, he would have to move to Australia.
Mr. Freeman reportedly turned them down because he thought playing in a casino using fiat money would expose him to too many rivals and be too hazardous.
According to court records, Freeman was then completely cut off from the project he was working on. and that after his dismissal, the two abandoned several compliance practices that had been in place while Mr. Freeman was participating.
In court filings, it is also described how Mr. Freeman claims that Mr. Craven and Mr. Tehrani implemented the use of geoblocking technology to stop gambling in countries like the United States after he was fired from the company.
Additionally, according to records, the couple allegedly transformed their partnership into a convoluted business to aid their illegal activities.
Mr. Freeman asserts in court filings that he would not have disregarded the restrictions on internet gambling if he had been engaged and that he had long thought Mr. Craven and Mr. Tehrani were “too lenient” with regard to government compliance.
In court filings, Mr. Freeman said, “Stake.com is not only making use of the markets in the United States and New York, but it is also obviously unconcerned with ridiculing officials who wish to prohibit unlawful online gambling in the United States.”
According to Mr. Freeman, despite the US government’s ban on bitcoin gaming, Mr. Craven and Mr. Tehrani continue to sell Stake.com via their “social casino” subsidiary website Stake.us, where players compete for fictitious rewards.
Additionally, he asserts that there are online tutorials, videos, and mirror websites that explain how to use a VPN and let users in nations like the US and Australia to access Stake’s website, according to filings.
Freeman further alleges that despite pledges that he would keep a partnership stake, the two totally banned him access to their first internet project, Primedice.
He claims that as a consequence, he was prevented from receiving any compensation due to him and from owning any stake in Stake.com, which was built on his concept for a cryptocurrency-based casino that also included a Primedice game.
According to Freeman, Mr. Tehrani and Mr. Craven broke their contract between 2016 and the present. As a result, he is seeking $558 million in damages.
Freeman said that he had been the victim of widespread fraud, that his ideas for a bitcoin casino had been stolen, and that his “potential economic benefit” had been thwarted in order to justify the astronomical damages bill.
The court action is “provably untrue” and “utterly frivolous,” according to Mr. Craven and Mr. Tehrani’s attorneys, who made it plain they planned to vigorously oppose the lawsuit.
According to data provided to The Weekend Australian Magazine in October, Mr. Craven’s net worth is supported by the success of Stake, which sees an average of $US400 million put in wagers every day.
Mr. Craven and Mr. Tehrani said they were on pace to generate $1 billion in profits by the end of 2022 in an interview at the time.
Despite the fact that they both reside in Melbourne, their company is governed by Curacao in the Caribbean.
Previous statements made by the business partners have indicated that they intend to seek for licenses to operate sports betting sites in regulated countries, including Australia.