Epik sued over misuse of funds

Man says company owes him over $300,000.

Logo for Epik domain name company

A man has sued (pdf) domain name registrar Epik, its Masterbucks entity, former CEO Rob Monster, and current CEO Brian Royce after the company failed to return his funds in an escrow transaction.

Matthew Adkisson’s allegations will surprise no one following Epik’s plight over the past six months.

Adkisson alleges that he agreed to buy nourish .com in a transaction facilitated by Epik. He paid $327,000 to Epik, covering $300,000 due to the domain seller and a $27,000 commission. The seller failed to deliver the domain. Adkisson waited six months for Epik to get the domain for him. When that failed, he asked for his money back.

But at that point, Epik was in financial distress. And unlike how an escrow service is required to operate, Epik had comingled his funds with operations and used it to cover expenses.

According to the suit:

In a subsequent phone call, Epik, through its counsel, admitted that it owed Adkisson the $327,000 it had promised to hold in escrow, and that sometime after Adkisson wired the funds to Epik, it was misappropriated, embezzled or both. In any case, Epik conceded that the Escrow Funds were no longer available. Epik further claimed that the company was “cash strapped” and that Adkisson’s Escrow Funds were used to pay other debts.

In January, Epik’s counsel told Adkisson that it would pay $20,000 by January 12 and the remaining funds by the end of January. It never made the second payment.

When Adkisson contacted Monster on January 31, Monster wrote to Adkisson:

in the event that the Company does not, or will not settle the balance due of $307,000, I am committed to covering this personally, and doing so asap

This is the first lawsuit I’m aware of that has been filed against Epik due to nonpayment of funds.

Perkins Coie LLP is representing Adkisson.

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