Fraud Claims Against FactSet, Revere Data And Doug Engmann Goes To Trial
A San Francisco state court has ruled that fraud and breach of contract claims brought by plaintiff Ashbury Heights Capital against FactSet Research Systems, Revere Data and its founder Doug Engmann are sufficiently supported by evidence and may proceed to trial. On Thursday, May 31 the court denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment, finding that a jury could find for Ashbury on all its claims.
Ashbury is founded by MIT graduates Eric McGill and Paul Mingardi. According to the complaint, data partner Revere and its founder Doug Engmann, the former head of the Pacific Stock Exchange, misused Ashbury’s intellectual property to prop up its own sales while hiding licensing revenues owed and fraudulently concealing other misuses of the technology. Engmann then sold revere to market intelligence company FactSet Research Systems, which continued to use Ashbury’s intellectual property and represent to customers that it was licensed to do so without paying Ashbury, the complaint states. Ashbury seeks over $10 million plus punitive damages in excess of $30 million total.
At the core of the dispute is a patented methodology designed by Ashbury that helps predict how stock prices move, largely based on economic information and extrapolations from companies’ network of customer-supplier relationships. The technology represented a leap forward in analyzing big data to predict the impact of macro and micro events on price movements and other targets. Clients of Revere and FactSet that used the technology include some of the largest quantitative hedge funds including WorldQuant and Two Sigma.
In its ruling, the Court found that enough evidence existed of Ashbury’s claims for theft of intellectual property, breach of contract, and fraud by Doug Engmann, FactSet and Revere that the matter should proceed to trial. The Court denied Defendant Engmann, FactSet and Revere’s motion for summary judgment in its entirety.
Eric McGill, Ashbury’s co-founder says, “Just because Engmann and FactSet have enormous resources at their disposal does not allow them to cheat their business partners. We are pleased that after years of delay by defendants, this action will finally be presented to a jury and we look forward to holding Mr. Engmann and FactSet accountable at trial.”
The jury trial is scheduled to begin on July 9, 2018 in San Francisco Superior Court.