Retired Akamai CEO sues daughter's ex-husband over unpaid millions

And you thought your in-laws were bad

Updated The next time someone accuses you of being a bad son-in-law, you can counter with the case of retired Akamai chairman and CEO George Conrades, who just sued his daughter's ex-husband in an attempt to recover millions in unpaid business loans.

Conrades, who led Akamai for nearly two decades before retiring in 2018, accuses [PDF] LinkeDrive of failing to pay over $18 million in promissory notes issued since 2012.

According to Conrades' affidavit [PDF] filed alongside the complaint in Norfolk, Massachusetts, County Superior Court, agreements between LinkeDrive founder Jeffrey Baer, Conrades' "then son-in-law," were made as far back as 2012 when Baer was trying to start the company.

None of the various loans made to LinkeDrive were repaid, the lawsuit alleges.

While active, LinkeDrive developed fleet management software for commercial trucking operations. The lawsuit and affidavit both assert that LinkeDrive has ceased operations. That being the case, the only thing left for Conrades and his fellow investors to recover is LinkeDrive's intellectual property, which was offered as collateral to secure the loans.

So it's just a matter of getting the keys to the IP castle to resolve the case, right? Nothing's that simple: LinkeDrive allegedly "refused to assign its intellectual property" to Conrades and his comrades.

According to the lawsuit, Longfellow Venture Partners, one of the firms owned by Conrades used to invest in LinkeDrive, directly asked for the IP assignment while LinkeDrive was winding down operations and was told no, because Baer was actually the IP owner – not the company.

"If this representation is true, Baer either misrepresented that LinkeDrive was the owner of the intellectual property or Baer fraudulently transferred the intellectual property of LinkeDrive to himself to hinder, delay or defraud the creditors of LinkeDrive, including Plaintiffs," the lawsuit alleges.

Baer's claim is contested in documents included in Conrades' affidavit, Exhibit F of which claims to be a printout from the US Patent Office showing LinkeDrive as the owner of the patents Conrades is seeking to claim, not Baer.

"Any claim by Baer to ownership of the … intellectual property is, based on the review of public records, without any … support and contrary to the express representations made by Baer in the promissory notes executed by him," Conrades states in his affidavit.

Neither Baer, his lawyers, nor LinkeDrive responded to questions for this story. ®

Updated to add

"We believe that there were several irregularities in the way Mr Conrades insisted that the business be structured and managed as the owner of the company, which will likely require an investigation by the appropriate authorities," Baer told The Register. "In light of these issues, we have no further comment at this time."

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