Medbox Inc. founder Vincent Mehdizadeh is done with his old company.
“I have moved on from Medbox and have transitioned to what I consider to be a better fit for my professional skills and talents,” wrote the former majority shareholder in a statement earlier this week.
That immediately followed a Medbox announcement that the West Hollywood cannabis consulting firm was moving forward with a settlement in a class action lawsuit against the firm and certain current and former executives and board members. The lawsuit centered on several years of Medbox financial results that had to be restated, among other matters.
If approved by the court, the settlement will include Medbox paying $1.85 million and an associated derivative settlement (a suit by shareholders on behalf of the company) would see Mehdizadeh contributing 2 million shares. The founder has already transferred those shares and sold the last 500,000 of his remaining stake on Tuesday, according to regulatory filings. The settlement would also provide for the release and dismissal of all asserted claims.
In his statement, Mehdizadeh condemned “inaccurate and inflammatory statements” made in the lawsuits about his character and management of Medbox while he was at the helm.
“The complaint itself made very derogatory racial statements about my heritage as an ‘Iranian immigrant’ and a ‘criminal,’” wrote Mehdizadeh.
He founded Medbox in 2010 as firm making machines that dole out premeasured doses of marijuana. Mehdizadeh served as the company’s chairman and chief operating officer, and briefly became a billionaire when Medbox shares skyrocketed for a short time.
But Mehdizadeh, who Los Angeles Superior Court records show has several criminal convictions including grand theft and intent to defraud, told the Business Journal early last year he intended to step down from his executive position lest that record tarnish Medbox.
“While I’m the key strategist for this company and brought this company to where it is, I clearly am also a weakness because of my checkered past,” he said at the time.
Indeed, Mehdizadeh later resigned both his executive post and chairmanship of the board, eventually selling most of his majority stake to an investment firm in exchange for a cash infusion into Medbox.
Mehdizadeh has since cofounded Century City cannabis consulting and investment firm Pineapple Express Inc. and advises on technology development.
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