Miami-based investor, Amit Raizada, is embroiled in a lawsuit with online gaming company, Echo Fox, which was cofounded by former NBA player Rick Fox. Raizada’s relationship with Fox and the company has proven to be tumultuous, as Raizada has been accused of calling Fox the N-word, while also allegedly threatening him and his family following their falling out.
Raizada, a founding partner at the Vision Venture Partners group which invested nearly $40 million into Echo Fox, filed a lawsuit against the gaming company claiming that Fox defamed him after they fell out in 2018, according to a report from the Miami New Times. He also accused the gaming company of allowing Fox to make slanderous statements about him.
The company began to be engulfed in financial woes in 2018, which Raizada noted in his recent lawsuit as being “due to unforeseeable events.” Fox claimed in a lawsuit filed against the investor in 2018 that the company’s financial troubles were due to Raizada paying himself a $350,000 salary, leasing a home in Beverly Hills and establishing a six-figure expense account without receiving approval from the company.
Fox and a business partner bought a large stake in Echo Fox in 2019, according to Miami New Times, but at that point, Raizada claims that the company was already in debt by $6 million.
Fox later explained wanting to part ways with Echo Fox, as he was going to pursue other business ventures with Hall. According to Dexerto, Raizada opposed Fox’s decision and asked that he stay in an “ambassadorial role.” This is apparently when things went left.
An email from January 2019 surfaced via Dexerto, which is said to be a response to Fox potentially exiting the company. “[There will be] NO DEAL ON ANYTHING AND IF RICK DOES NOT DO HIS DUTIES ILL PERSONALLY F**K HIM AND HIS FAMILY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE,” Raizada reportedly said in an email exchange.
Raizada later used racial slurs against former CEO of Echo Fox, Jace Hall – a Black man, according to Dexerto. He was also accused of calling Fox the N-word. The investor denied the allegations regarding Fox but admitted to having a heated email exchange with Hall where he “lost his temper.” “First, Mr. Raizada has never used or made a racial epithet or statement towards Mr. Fox or anyone in his family,” a spokesperson for Raizada said. “Moreover, Mr. Raizada has never threatened Mr. Fox or anyone in his family. Any allegations or suggestions to the contrary are simply false.”
Hall also said that Raizada had used inappropriate language in the past.
Raizada apologized to Hall in a statement, saying that his language was wrong. “In a heated and contentious email exchange with Jace Hall several weeks ago, I lost my temper and used a racial epithet directed personally at him. I have apologized to Jace, and I would like to apologize to all. My language was wrong and there is no excuse for it. I have stepped down from all day-to-day decision-making with all entities in which Jace Hall and I were involved,” he said.
A report surfaced in April 2019 claiming that Fox was resigning from the gaming organization. Fox supposedly sent a letter to the company stating that “recent outrageous and abhorrent display of pure racism made by a significant Echo Fox shareholder as well as threats to my family have made it impossible for me to continue to remain associated with the company.”
The letter did not specify an “employee, officer, member or shareholder of Echo Fox,” the company said in statement, adding that “racial intolerance connected to Echo Fox is entirely unacceptable.”
Despite Raizada denying claims that he called Fox a racial slur, Echo Fox said that “there have been incidents in recent weeks in which a limited partner of the Echo Fox organization, who is not an employee, officer or director of Echo Fox, used a racial epithet towards individuals both verbally and via email.”
Raizada’s recent lawsuit argues that he has been depicted as “the villain and catalyst for Echo Fox’s demise.” He also claims Fox Echo Fox used the former NBA star to conspire against him with two of his former business partners, Scott Asner and Michael Gortenburg.
Gortenburg gave credence to the allegations made against Raizada in a May 2019 interview, claiming that he has a history of using racial slurs and has threatened prior business partners.