Thanedar settles business fraud lawsuit four days before trial
Former Michigan Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Shri Thanedar has reached an agreement with plaintiffs to avoid trial in a business fraud lawsuit alleging he inflated the value of a company he sold in 2016.
U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain dismissed the case Friday, citing a notice from Thanedar and Avomeen Holdings LLC that they had reached an agreement to resolve the matter out of court.
The trial had been set to start Tuesday in Detroit, where Thanedar recently moved as he contemplates another political run.
Avomeen had claimed economic damages of approximately $7 million to $8 million in the sale, which netted Thanedar roughly $20 million. Thanedar disputed any wrongdoing and filed a counter claim seeking damages of at least $2.5 million, according to court records.
The terms of the agreement between the two parties are unknown. Thanedar could not be reached Monday, and defense attorney Marc Newman declined comment. A message was also left with plaintiff attorney John Buck.
Court filings show Thanedar and Avomeen had previously been unable to reach a settlement despite multiple discussions, including a January 2019 magistrate conference and an in-person meeting with attorneys on July 2.
Thanedar founded the Ann Arbor-based Avomeen Analytical Services in late 2010 after moving to Michigan from Missouri. He sold a majority share in late 2016 and gave his 50 employees a collective $1.5 million bonus as he relinquished control of the company.
The Indian immigrant, now 64, pumped more than $10 million of his own money into his 2018 gubernatorial campaign but finished last in the Democratic primary behind now-Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and former Detroit health director Abdul El-Sayed.
Thanedar and his wife recently put their Pittsfield Township home up for sale at a list price of $1.15 million and moved to Detroit, where he had topped Whitmer by two percentage points in the primary.
Thanedar last month told The Detroit News he may run for office in the city and is considering a bid for mayor, state House or other another position.