Trade Secrets Theft Saga: THE FAT LADY HAS NOT YET SUNG
“WE ARE DISAPPOINTED BY THE COURT’S DECISION AND EXPECT TO SEEK A FURTHER REVIEW.” – Compass Marketing Inc.
BY KEN ROSSIGNOL
THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY
NEWS & COMMENTARY
BALTIMORE, MD. – One year after filing a massive federal civil suit under the RICO statute, United States Federal District Court Judge George Russell III granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss the litigation filed by Compass Marketing Inc. against Flywheel Digital, Ascential PLC, former University of Maryland Medical Systems Chief James C. DiPaula, Patrick Miller, former St. Mary’s Deputy States Attorney Daniel White, Maryland Judge Michael White, and Maryland State Police Lt. George White.
The lawsuit filed on February 14, 2022, alleged that the various defendants conspired to steal trade secrets of Compass Marketing, and the White defendants embezzled millions of dollars from the firm.
The defendants denied the charges in response to the allegations, saying that Compass Marketing fabricated the allegations, never had a “secret” way to entice sales for clients not available to anyone involved in internet marketing and failed to prove their claim.
A district court judge’s decision can be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, which is the inference in the above statement provided to THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY, February 24, 2023.
The brouhaha over the assets allegedly taken from Compass Marketing, an Annapolis-based advertising firm that began with John White seeking ways to peddle Chapstick more than twenty-five years ago, will continue to be examined in the United States Court of Appeals.
John White made his mark by developing unique methods of following Jeff Bezos’s innovative Amazon firm into the wild world of online marketing, which has soared to dominate the world. In contrast, former brick-and-mortar behemoths like Sears have gone bankrupt and large malls have turned into ghost towns.
John White brought his brothers and two sisters into his business, and Compass Marketing blossomed into an international firm sending White into the world of business and politics, including his candidacy for Congress in 2006 in Maryland’s third congressional district.
When Congressman Ben Cardin opted not to run again for Maryland’s Third Congressional District and instead run for the U. S. Senate in 2006, the son of former Senator Paul Sarbanes, John Sarbanes, was the Democratic nominee, and John White was the Republican candidate. John Sarbanes won 64 percent of the race’s vote, including Libertarian Charles McPeak Sr, leaving White with 33 percent. This political race was John White’s only attempt at elected office.
The Johnny Appleseed of 7-Elevens
With developing smart shelves for retailing Chapstick, his hallmark, John White, the Johnny Appleseed of 7-Elevens, he soon gathered bushels of customers following his trail of sales success from the aisles of retail stores to the pages and files of online stores.
From pockets and purses of Chapstick to super ship size sales ideas, as taking the new Norwegian Breakaway, the world’s newest cruise ship at the time, and rebranding it as the Bud Light Hotel for the 2014 Superbowl in New York City, White earned respect and financial rewards for his firm, Compass Marketing. The Bud Light Hotel was chartered by Anheuser-Busch for promotions among its clients and customers, providing space for over 4,000 guests.
The ship became the Bud Light Hotel and was outfitted in Bud Light-themed pillows, towels, key cards, signage, and rebranding. It was docked at Pier 88 next to the USS Intrepid Museum pier, expanding to the aircraft carrier to host the biggest parties in New York for the Super Bowl.
After the Super Bowl was over, the ship steamed to Miami for its maiden voyage and season, and White sent all employees of his company who wished to go along for the ride. Thinking small got John White’s start on store shelves soothing dry lips while thinking big grew his company into a marketing success story.
As John White’s firm expanded, he made a place for his family, a close-knit clan from Clinton, Maryland, which supplied law enforcement agencies with a posse of cops. The family in his firm, including his sister Kathy Barilone, now retired from the Maryland State Police, his brother Tom, still working as a commander in criminal investigations, another brother Jim, who worked in the United States Park Police, and his brother Michael who retired from the state police and was elected Judge of the St. Mary’s Orphans Court in 2014. John White brought Michael into the firm and designated him with financial control duties. At the same time, he assigned legal counsel roles to his brother Daniel White, an attorney and prosecutor in St. Mary’s County, and nephews Robert and George were assigned duties with the company.
Earlier episodes in this saga explain the history of Compass Marketing and the tangled web of allegations involved with those named in the litigation.
Order granting motion to dismiss
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