Marc Stephens awaiting Judge Julia I. Rodriguez's opinion from the Bronx Supreme Court in $20 million civil lawsuit
On May 13, 2013, Marc Stephens filed a $20 Million civil lawsuit against defendants Evan Dore, Joy Henry Oguagua, and Doreway, LLC asserting causes of action for (1) Breach of Contract, (2) Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, (3) Breach of Fiduciary Duties, (4) Conversion, (5) Intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, (6) Fraud, (7) Tortious Interference, (8) Defamation Per Se, and (9) Fraudulent Transfer.
Marc Stephens filed the complaint stating that while he was away in Los Angeles, California dealing with death in his family, defendants Evan Dore, and his sister Joy Henry Oguagua, created a shell corporation called ‘Doreway, LLC’ and transferred all of Marc’s assets from his company ‘Doreway Transportations Services, LLC’, into the shell corporation without his consent.
The complaint states Marc Stephens is the president and CEO of Doreway Transportation Services, LLC, a New York limited liability company, with its principal place of business located in the State of New York, specifically, 2031 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York 10035.
The complaint, and ironically testimony from the defendants, further states that on May 21, 2012, Marc Stephens incorporated Doreway Transportation Services, LLC, created the company name, logo, graphic design, business contracts, bus schedules and routes, marketing, website development, provided all of the start-up funding, and was partnered with defendant Joy Henry Oguagua who was supposed to be a driver.
Doreway Transportation Services, LLC was contracted with Empire City Casino in Yonkers to provide transportation services for local residents in the Bronx and Harlem, New York.
On December 12, 2013, Justice John A. Barone, of the Bronx Supreme Court, entered a Default Judgment against the defendants Evan Dore, Joy Henry Oguagua, and Doreway, LLC because they failed to answer the complaint.
On January 7, 2014, despite three copies of proof of service filed on record to all defendants, and signed off as received, Defendant Evan Dore filed an affidavit stating that he was never served the Complaint. The defendant Joy Henry Oguagua never filed an answer to the complaint.
Judge Barrone granted the defendants excuse and set a discovery schedule.
On March 6, 2014, the defendant’s attorney Clyde Vanel, of The Vanel Law Firm, in Cambria Heights filed a verified answer signed by Evan Dore.
On January 21, 2015, during a pre-trial hearing Evan Dore stated to Judge Barone that he was the owner of Doreway Transportation Services, LLC.
It was apparent that the only defense that the defendants were arguing in court was the fact that the name of the company ‘Doreway’ included their last name ‘Dore’. Marc Stephens defiantly said in open court, “So what, McDonald’s was owned by Ray Croc”. As stated, Marc came up with the company name and slogan.
Marc Stephens pointed out that Evan Dore is an employee of his corporation. In fact, Evan Dore filed a ‘verified answer’ with the court stating that he was ‘employed’ by Marc Stephens as a ‘driver and manager’.
Judge John A. Barone ruled that defendant Evan Dore is ‘not the owner’ of Doreway Transportation Services, LLC:
Judge Barone: Part of this hearing has already been admitted. In his answer, Mr. Dore has said he is an employee of Doreway Transportation Services, LLC.
Evan Dore: I didn’t say that.
Judge Barone: Its right here.
Evan Dore: The attorney who withdrew himself from the case. I don’t know what he was putting on that thing. I don’t know why that is on that.
Judge Barone: Clyde Vennell.
Evan Dore: Mr. Vennell. I don’t know why that is even on there.
Judge Barone: This is what you are going to have to do. I have an admission here in a pleading that says you are not the owner. In an answer from you. A verified. Well let me see.
Evan Dore: That’s from the attorney Mr. Vennell.
Judge Barone: You signed it. Evan Dore. Joy Henry-Oguagua.
Evan Dore: We signed it.
Evan Dore: It’s not signed.
Judge Barone: Yeah you did.
Evan Dore: Can I see it (Whereupon, the document is shown to Mr. Dore.)
Mr. Stephens: And it’s notarized.
Judge Barone: As far as this court is concerned. You submitted a verified pleading stating you were not the owner of the corporation.
Mr. Stephens: He’s been in here saying he’s the owner.
Judge Barone: “I have to rule on it that you are not. As far as this case go you are not the owner of the corporation”.
Judge Barone: Today was for the limited purpose of establishing that Mr. Dore is not part owner of Doreway Transportation Services LLC, which he’s not.
To make matters worse, immediately after this dialogue between Evan Dore and Judge Barone, the Defendant Joy Henry Oguagua ‘testified’ that she is the 100% sole owner of Doreway Transportation Services, LLC. How could Evan Dore be an owner if Oguagua is 100% sole owner?
Witness Marissa Rodriquez, from Empire City Casino, took the stand on behalf of Marc Stephens. Marissa testified that defendant Evan Dore communicated to her that he’s the owner of Doreway Transportation Services, LLC, and that Evan Dore contacted her in March 2013 and told her that Marc Stephens was no longer working for Doreway Transportation Services LLC.
Marissa also testified that Marc’s company Doreway Transportation Services LLC territories included the Bronx and Harlem, New York, and was the initial company in the Bronx and Harlem territories.
Witness Jay Lin, who is Marc Stephens insurance broker located in Brooklyn, New York, testified that Marc is the individual who took out a $5 million insurance policy for Doreway Transportation Services, LLC.
Judge Barone: You sold them a policy or managed their policy? What did you do?
Jay Lin: Well about November 2012 Marc Stephens came to my office. He named my agency as a broker of record and basically we took the policy over.
Judge Barone: So, Mr. Stephens essentially took out a policy with your company?
Jay Lin: Yes
Judge Barone: So, Marc Stephens paid the insurance for the Doreway Transportation Services?
Jay Lin: Initially Yes.
Jay Lin testified that in March 2013, defendant Evan Dore contacted him and stated that Marc Stephens was no longer the owner, and he is the “owner now”.
Marc Stephens: You stated that you spoke to Evan Dore frequently correct or multiple times?
Jay Lin: Multiple times.
Marc Stephens: In that communication did he ever tell you that Marc Stephens is not the owner of Doreway Transportation?
Jay Lin: As I recall, March 2013, he did say that he’s the owner now and I should deal with him and he paid the insurance renewal in March.
Judge Barone: He said he was the owner of which one?
Jay Lin: Doreway Transportation. Because at that time during March of 2013 there was only Doreway Transportation that existed. Doreway LLC came in under April 2013.
Despite Evan Dore providing ‘false testimony’ in court that he is the owner, Jay Lin testified that on April 10, 2013, defendant Evan Dore signed insurance documents to combine defendant Doreway LLC onto Marc Stephens’ insurance policy for Doreway Transportation Services, LLC, and named defendant Joy Henry Oguagua as 100% owner of both companies.
Marc Stephens: And Doreway LLC is another corporation that fell under your insurance umbrella correct?
Jay Lin: Well Doreway LLC was another entity that was combined April 10th 2013. They signed a document to combine Doreway LLC and Doreway Transportation LLC.
Marc Stephens: And who was that person that signed it?
Jay Lin: According to my record Evan Dore signed it.
Marc Stephens: So Evan Dore signed for Doreway LLC then combined insurance for Doreway Transportation Services?
Jay Lin: Yes, it says Evan Dore on it. But they named Joy Henry as a hundred percent owner on Doreway Transportation LLC and Doreway LLC.
Jay Lin testified that on November 9, 2012, Marc Stephens signature was the 'initial signature' on the insurance documents for Doreway Transportation Services, LLC., and obviously the only owner to exist on the insurance policy.
Evan Dore: Jay Lin, on all your insurance documents is his signature on any one of those papers?
Jay Lin: His signature was on the initial papers that we transferred the broker to us. I have a signed agent of record change request dated November 9th 2012. I believe this signature might have been Marc’s.
Evan Dore: That looks like his signature. That’s the only thing he signed?
Jay Lin: That’s the only thing I have signed by Marc.
On June 8, 2015, to reduce their credibility even more, defendant Evan Dore had defense witness, his ex-wife, Sabrina Martinez testify that defendant Joy Henry Oguagua is not the owner. The defendants just impeached themselves.
Evan Dore: Can you tell the court what part my sister played in this and who the owner is---my sister signed for me and everything?
Judge Barone: Do you know what, if anything, Mr. Dore’s sister did?
Sabrina Martinez: She helped him finance some of the business, but he is the actual owner of the business.
Sabrina Martinez testified that Ms. Oguagua helped finance some of the business, but on December 2, 2015, “Oguagua testified that she did nothing at all which is reflected in Judge Rodriquez’s Decision and Order, page 4. (“On December 2, 2015, Ms Henry-Oguagua denied being involved in any of the business operations, and further denied signing the Operating Agreement…Significantly, both Stephens and Dore agreed that Ms. Henry-Oguagua was never involved in the business”)”.
Marc Stephens submitted a correspondence into evidence proving that on March 4, 2013, Oguagua forwarded a correspondence to Stephens addressing him as “Member”. The word Member in a LLC means "owner".
The letter reads, which is submitted into evidence as EXHIBIT 22, “Dear Mr. Stephens: In accordance with Articles 4.2 and 4.3 of the Operating Agreement for Doreway Transportation Services, LLC, the Company is holding its next meeting of voting members on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:00 am E.S.T. at The National Black Theatre, 2013 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10035”.
On December 2, 2015, during a hearing in front of Judge Rodriguez, Oguagua ‘testified’ that she sent the letter, and that it is her signature on the letter. This is in clear conflict with Oguagua testimony that she was "not involved with the business operations".
Judge Rodrigues clearly 'overlooked' this fact that Oguagua acknowledged the operating agreement was signed by her, but she gave 'false testimony' twice that she “did not sign anything”.
Judge Barone: You are still under Oath. Did you sign this agreement?
Joy Henry Oguagua: I didn’t sign anything
Evan Dore stated on record that Marc Stephens never met or spoke with Joy Henry Oguagua, and Joy Henry Oguagua 'testified' that she doesn’t know Marc Stephens.
“You don’t know me”, says Oguagua in front of Judge Barrone.
Marc testified that they all grew up in the same building on Valentine Avenue in the Bronx, New York, and have known each other since kids.
Oguagua clearly committed perjury. The record shows in October 2012, Oguagua already agreed to give the 60% ownership back to Marc Stephens because Stephens stated he was going to file a breach of contract suit against her for not performing any duties and lying about providing funding.
Because it was already understood Stephens was the President and CEO with 100% ownership, there were no objections from Evan Dore, or Joy Henry Oguagua, when Stephens opened up a new Chase Bank account in October 2012, and new insurance in November 2012 as the only owner.
In fact, the bank statements reveals, and Evan Dore testified that he was 'depositing all revenue' generated from Empire City Casino into Doreway Transportations Services LLC new Chase Account owned by Stephens.
The defendants’ contradictions and lying under oath are absurd:
(1) Evan Dore verified answer states he’s an employee of Marc Stephens’ corporation.
(2) Yet, Evan Dore testified he’s the owner, Judge Barone ruled Dore is not the owner.
(3) Ms. Henry-Oguagua testified she is sole owner, and witness Sabrina Martinez, Evan Dore’s ex-wife, testified that Oguagua is not the owner and that Evan Dore is the actual owner.
(4) Evan Dore testified he’s the owner, but forged his sister’s name Ms. Henry-Oguagua on to Stephens’s insurance as 100% owner of both companies.
(5) Ms. Henry-Oguagua testified she did not sign an operating agreement, but addresses Stephens as an owner in correspondences, which she testified is her signature, requesting for a member’s meeting in accordance with 4.2 and 4.3 of the Operating Agreement for Doreway Transportation Services LLC, and filed frivolous counterclaims against Stephens for breach of contract.
(6) Evan Dore verified answer states an operating agreement was signed between Oguagua and Stephens, but Dore testified his sister did not sign it.
(7) witness Sabrina Martinez, Evan Dore’s ex-wife, testified Oguagua helped finance Doreway, but Oguagua testified that she did nothing at all, and Dore verified Answer states a $10,000 check provided by Stephens financed the start-up of the business.
(8) Dore and Oguagua claim ownership but neither defendant are on the Chase bank account which is owned by Marc Stephens.
On January 25, 2016, despite all the facts proving plaintiff Marc Stephens is the owner, and willfully false testimony by the defendants, Bronx Supreme Court Justice Julia L. Rodriguez awarded the corporation to Evan Dore.
Yes, you read that correctly. The decision is outrageous for the simple fact that Evan Dore’s filed a Verified Answer stating he was an 'Employee', and Judge Barone ruled Evan Dore is 'not the owner'.
“I actually looked Judge Rodriguez in her eyes and told her, I can tell you are going to rule against me. You can check it..it’s on record”, say Marc.
“I don’t think she’s a bad Judge it was just so much lying going on by the defendants, and Judge Barrone retired, so Judge Rodriguez wasn’t present during the initial hearings to fully understand the story. I could tell by her facial expressions she bought into their lies”, says Marc.
If you read the opinion, Judge Rodriguez incorrectly stated that Marc Stephens stole $6,000 out of the Chase bank account, and didn’t consult with Joy Henry Oguagua before withdrawing the funds. The record shows, without a doubt, that Marc Stephens is the only owner of the Chase account, and that Judge Rodriquez’s own opinion states Joy Henry Oguagua 'testified' that she was not involved with the business. If Oguagua was not involved with the business, why would Marc need to consult with Oguagua to withdraw money from a bank account that he owns? This is a clear error of fact that Judge Rodriguez must fix.
The defendant’s attorney, Clyde Vanel, a lawyer who also represented Ben Carson, a Republican candidate for president, quit and filed a ‘Motion to Withdraw’ himself because he said it was very impressive how much Marc Stephens protected himself by documenting everything.
The defendant’s own attorney did not believe they could win the case. It’s apparent that Mr. Vanel withdrew because he did not want to engage in committing perjury.
On February 23, 2016, Marc submitted a Motion to Reargue stating Judge Julia I. Rodriguez is in clear error of facts and law, and overlooked his evidence and the false testimony of defendants Evan Dore, Joy Henry Oguagua, and witness Sabrina Martinez.
Marc Stephens stated, “The only mistake that I made was trying to financially help out a childhood friend by creating a business opportunity”.
Marc contacted Judge Rodriguez’s chambers and was told it could take up to 6 months to receive an opinion and order on his Motion to Reargue.
If Marc’s Motion is granted, the defendants Evan Dore, Joy Henry Oguagua, and witness Sabrina Martinez could possibly face fines and possible jail time for allegedly lying under oath.
The record shows that Stephens negotiated with Empire City Casino to provide marketing for his business, and that Stephens was negotiating advertising deals with multiple business owners in New York City which would have generated $2 million in revenue.
Marc Stephens is seeking $20 million in damages.