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Former CleanFish exec sued over new mussel venture

Delaware-based CleanFish has filed a lawsuit against its former co-founder Dale Sims for launching Buena Vista Seafood, a new company CleanFish accuses Sims of stealing "confidential data" as well as customers to create.

Lawyers for CleanFish argued in a filing with a US district court in Northern California on June 24 that Sims and Nanci Dixon of Island Sea Farms, a former mussel supplier to CleanFish, used "detailed customer lists, purchasing data, sales figures and other analysis" to directly compete with CleanFish and divert business away from the company.

CleanFish stated in the June 24 filing, British Columbia-based Island Sea Farm's business was worth $1.5 million (€1.3 million) to the company.

The company accused Sims in June of contacting Island Sea Farms shortly after resigning in May to send over customer data to Dixon via text messages.

The company also is accusing Sims of rebooting his company-owned computer in an effort to destroy evidence. Sims has not returned this company-owned computer that "remains in Sims’ possession and use, and necessarily contains Plaintiff’s trade secrets, proprietary information and other Confidential data," CleanFish said.

Island Sea Farms has refuted all of the allegations, calling them baseless. In a filing on July 9, it stated the company parted ways with CleanFish largely "based on the continuing issues with late payment of invoices," which Island Sea Farms noted were "paid well beyond 30 days."

Island Sea Farms also expressed several issues the company experienced with CleanFish Managing Director Mike Moniz that included "threatening and inappropriate behavior" at the Brussels trade show.

In 2018, CleanFish was sold to Boston-based Sea 2050, a holding company for Wulf's Fish.

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