Laila Mintas responds, says PlayUp needs to produce all 17,000 emails

Posted: July 29, 2022, 10:15 a.m.

Last update on: July 29, 2022, 10:16 a.m.

The former head of PlayUp’s US division has refuted claims by her former employer that she destroyed evidence related to the lawsuit the Australia-based company filed against. Instead, lawyers for Dr Laila Mintas said it was likely the company that revoked her access to more than 17,000 emails she said she could access during a deposition last month.

Overdo it
PlayUp signage is seen during a New Jersey Devils NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins. PlayUp is in the middle of a lawsuit with Dr. Laila Mintas, its former US CEO. On Thursday, Mintas responded to claims that it hid 17,000 corporate emails from discovery. Mintas’ attorneys say the emails were on the company’s server. (Picture: PlayUp)

And, if anyone has any explaining to do, Mintas’ attorneys said it was PlayUp. On Thursday, they responded to a PlayUp petition filed two weeks ago in federal district court in Nevada seeking sanctions against Mintas and wanting to block him from referring to the emails in his case.

In the 24-page response, the attorneys derided the company’s attempts to force Mintas to retake a deposition and pay the legal fees associated with the request as a way to harass their client and try to “destroy her reputation through media coverage – particularly through claims that she engaged in “corporate espionage”.

The response claims that “it seems likely” that PlayUp removed Mintas’ account from its Microsoft 365 license.

PlayUp Inc. should be required to explain what it did with all emails from Mintas on the mail server under its control and ownership,” wrote attorneys Jennifer Braster and Meredith Markwell. “From day one, Mintas requested these emails from PlayUp Inc., and it refused to produce them.”

Additionally, rather than asking Mintas to pay PlayUp’s attorneys, Mintas’ attorneys said it should be the other way around to have their charges answered.

“PlayUp Inc. should also be obligated to produce these emails, which they have been trying to avoid since discovery began,” the response reads.

Both sides sue each other

PlayUp and Mintas were embroiled in what turned into a bitter legal battle that began after the company decided not to renew its contract. On the day the contract ended, November 30, PlayUp filed a lawsuit against Mintas, claiming that it disparaged the company to the CEO of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that had considered acquiring the company.

PlayUp also said Mintas is seeking to remove Daniel Simic and return to his position as the company’s global CEO.

In response, Mintas filed a countersuit against the company in January, describing itself as a “whistleblower” who was targeted after it refused to participate in a counter-proposal to FTX’s $450 million bid. The counteroffer asked for an additional $105 million, she said, to buy a separate company and offer retention bonuses to key PlayUp people. She also accused the company of withholding details of FTX discussions.

PlayUp Considering Trade Options

As the lawsuits continue, so does PlayUp’s scrutiny of its future. Earlier this month, the company announced that it was “working” on the process of obtaining GLI certification, and the certification would allow it to launch its proprietary gaming platform in the United States.

Company executives also announced that Innovation Capital had been engaged as a financial advisor to help the company conduct a strategic review. PlayUp executives are considering several “strategic alternatives” for the company’s future. These options include establishing strategic partnerships or selling the business.

In the United States, PlayUp is licensed to offer sports betting in New Jersey and Colorado. It also has 11 market access agreements in eight states for sports betting or iGaming.

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