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Garriott claims stock option fraud in NCsoft lawsuit

Tabula Rasa creator says he lost $27 million in forced departure

Tabula Rasa creator Richard Garriott has claimed that NCsoft breached its stock option agreement and forced his departure from the company, as the first details of his multi-million dollar lawsuit emerge.

Legal documents obtained by Gamasutra suggest that Garriott "objected to his dismissal" from the company in November 2008. He also complains that his departure was "re-characterized" by NCsoft to appear to be voluntary.

A voluntary termination of his contract at NCsoft would have seen Garriott’s stock options terminate after 90 days, rather than remaining until June 2011. Garriott claims that being forced to sell during this time cost him "millions of dollars in value" and "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in costs and taxes.

As well as breach of contract, Garriott is suing for fraud and/or negligent misrepresentation. The lawsuit claims that altogether he has "suffered more than USD 27 million (EUR 20 million) in actual damage" as a result of NCsoft’s actions.

Garriott is suing for breach of contract, fraud, and/or negligent misrepresentation. He seeks to recover damages, interest and legal fees. The complaint claimed Garriott has "suffered more than $27 million in actual damage" from NCsoft's alleged actions.

News of the lawsuit first emerged yesterday, with an initial court filing for USD 24 million (EUR 18 million) in compensation. Garriott’s departure from NCsoft came immediately after his visit to the International Space Station, with NCsoft apparently terminating his employment while he was still in quarantine in Russia.

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