Jury Award of $712,694.00 in OnePoint Human Capital Management LLC (“OnePoint”) v. Synergy Group HCM, Inc., Angela M. Arents, and Colburn Insurance Services Inc.
August 25, 2016
Selma, CA - Following a six week jury trial, on April 13, 2016 the jury returned its verdict in the amount of $712,694.00 against Synergy Group HCM, Inc. of Corona CA., Angela Acres Arents of Corona, CA, and Colburn Insurance Services Inc. of San Dimas, CA and for OnePoint Human Capital Management LLC (“OnePoint”). The Court entered judgment on July 29, 2016.
The lawsuit was filed in 2012 when OnePoint learned that Arents had been operating a competing payroll business while she was employed by Onepoint. OnePoint is in the business of supplying employers with payroll, time-keeping and human resource services. From March 1, 2010 to September 24, 2012, OnePoint employed Angela Arents as an area sales representative. During Arents’ employment, Arents established a close connection with one of OnePoint’s business referral sources, Colburn Insurance Services, Inc.. In early to mid 2012, Arents and Colburn developed a plan to setup and operate a competing payroll business that emulated OnePoint’s successful business model. To generate business for the new venture, Arents falsely claimed to current and prospective OnePoint customers that their new business, was merely a DBA of OnePoint. Through this deception, and others, Arents and Colburn successfully launched and operated their competing payroll business, Synergy Group HCM, Inc., while Arents was employed by OnePoint and in violation of the law.
The Jury found that Synergy Group HCM, Inc. and Angela Arents had acted with malice, fraud and/or oppression when they misappropriated OnePoint’s trade secrets and when Angela Arents engaged in a breach of her duty of loyalty to OnePoint. Colburn Insurance Services, Inc. was found to have conspired with the other Defendants and is jointly and severally liable for all damages.
In lieu of proceeding with the punitive damages phase of the jury trial, ALL Defendants agreed to forfeit their rights to an appeal. Defendants will not appeal the outcome. With recoverable fees and costs, the final judgment will exceed $1,000,000.00.
Following the jury verdict and before judgment could be entered, Angela Arents filed her own Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy on April 22, 2016. Through the bankruptcy petition, Angela Arents claims to have shut down and ceased operating Synergy Group HCM, Inc. on April 20, 2016. In the Bankruptcy, OnePoint successfully obtained relief from the automatic Bankruptcy stay to have judgment entered on July 29, 2016.
In the bankruptcy petition, Angela Arents claims that she began operating a new payroll business after shutting down Synergy Group HCM, Inc.. Arents lists the clients of Synergy WorkForce Solutions, a DBA of Angela M. Arents as her assets and also claims that these clients were once the same clients of Synergy Group HCM, Inc.. OnePoint has put before the Bankruptcy Court that this conduct constitutes a fraudulent conveyance.
Recently, the Bankruptcy Trustee petitioned the Bankruptcy Court in Riverside, CA to consolidate Synergy Group HCM, Inc. into the personal bankruptcy of Angela M. Arents, and then auction off all of the business at an auction bulk sale.
OnePoint is concerned for the well-being of the former Synergy payroll clients and their employees and has bid, at its own considerable expense, in the Bankruptcy Court to purchase the right to operate the payroll business. OnePoint has also raised certain objections to the process to ensure that the clients see a smooth transition. If OnePoint is the successful bidder, a transition away from Synergy and to OnePoint would be a seamless one as OnePoint offers the same services Synergy once did.
The auction has been tentatively set for August 30, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. in the Bankruptcy Court Central District of California, Riverside Division located at 3810 University Ave., Room 103, Riverside, CA.
For further information related to OnePoint's lawsuit against Synergy Group HCM Inc., Angela Arents, and Colburn Insurance Services Inc. please contact us 1-866-938-5835 or e-mail email@example.com.
Information concerning the judgment and the bankruptcy proceedings can be found at the following links:
United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, Riverside Division (Case No. 6:16-bk-13620-SC)
Superior Court of the State of California County of Fresno, Unlimited Civil Division (Case No. 13CECG00789)
About OnePoint Human Capital Management
OnePoint Human Capital Management is an enterprise class, cloud HCM solution ideal for organizations seeking better workforce analytics and compliance management through more efficient administration and automated HR processes. Our comprehensive, mobile-ready solution unifies HRIS, Payroll, HR, Time and Labor, and Benefits Administration in one single system. The cloud-native platform can be set up and configured quickly, and can be deployed modularly or as complete HCM solution. Partnering with OnePoint allows HR administrators to automate manual processes, access real-time data and simplify reporting, which reduces administrative costs and improves compliance management.