A Lawsuit Against Marcus Lemonis & Others is Alleging That “The Profit” Is Scamming Small Businesses
Marcus Lemonis, the star of CNBC’s show The Profit, is no stranger to litigation, but a proposed amended complaint recently filed against him in a year-old dispute really lets loose. The 165-page grievance reads like its own reality show, in which plaintiffs assert that Lemonis is nothing more than a fraud.
“While he pretends to be savior on TV to save businesses, Lemonis actually and purposefully sets out to acquire them for himself and ruin them financially,” plaintiffs contend.
Forbes turned the allegations in the proposed amended complaint into an exposè about Lemonis and his TV show, leading with a photo of him that is captioned, “The Profit or Profiteer?” It racked up more than 33,000 views in the first 24 hours at last count by deBanked.
But the lawsuit filed by Nicolas Goureau, Stephanie Menkin, and ML Fashion, who were first filmed for the show in 2014, is a bit overshadowed by the fact that this is their 2nd amended complaint and that a motion to dismiss their previous one was already pending.
The latest one highlighted by Forbes is communicated to the public as being the culmination of an “eight-month investigation” carried out with the help of a “former district attorney and a top law school professor, and a world renown psychiatrist that was spurred by the coming forward of no less than seventy (70) family businesses that have been destroyed…”
The identities of the people who carried out the “investigation” are not shared and the 70 “destroyed businesses” are not co-plaintiffs. At times, it is hard to take the complaint seriously when it casually asserts sensational facts, like one that says a participant on the show killed themselves but it doesn’t say who they were, where they worked, or any other details about the death.
Plaintiffs are seeking at least $12 million in damages and they have just added NBC Universal Media, LLC as a defendant.
Lemonis contends that the plaintiffs earned $3 million for their labor and that they charged $1.3 million in personal expenses on the company credit card.
Overall, it’s probably unwelcome press for the show given that the eighth season just debuted. Many people in the small business finance community are fans of the show. In 2017, Lemonis personally criticized Kabbage, saying that they weren’t a friend of small business.
Lemonis is currently hosting a contest on twitter where small businesses are competing to win $10,000 by submitting their pitch.
Win $10,000 for your business …. Make your best pitch … must use #TheProfit to submit your pitch pic.twitter.com/8CuZAN5SJ0
— Marcus Lemonis (@marcuslemonis) August 21, 2021
Sean Murray is the President and Chief Editor of deBanked and the founder of the Broker Fair Conference. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on twitter. You can view all future deBanked events here.