Former DraftKings Executive Denies Espionage Allegations, Calls Lawsuit ‘Fabricated’
Michael Hermalyn, a former senior vice president at DraftKings, has vehemently denied allegations of corporate espionage made against him by the sports betting company. In response to the lawsuit filed by DraftKings in a Massachusetts federal court, Hermalyn has called the accusations “entirely fabricated.”
DraftKings claims that Hermalyn had been plotting for over a year to join competitor Fanatics, taking along with him confidential information about DraftKings’ VIP clients and its Super Bowl business plan. The lawsuit alleges that Hermalyn timed his departure and theft of confidential information to coincide with the critical days leading up to the Super Bowl in an attempt to irreparably interfere with DraftKings’ customer and business relationships.
However, Hermalyn has refuted these claims, stating that he did not have an offer to join Fanatics until January 27, 2024. He has also denied secretly discussing employment with Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin or anyone else at the company in 2023. Hermalyn further asserts that he did not share any documents with Fanatics or have access to any DraftKings files after his resignation.
Additionally, Hermalyn has expressed shock and disappointment at the accusation that he falsely claimed to be mourning the death of a friend in order to take time off to fly to Los Angeles for contract negotiations. He stated that the week of January 29 was emotionally difficult for him due to grieving the death of his friend and contemplating a career advancement by joining Fanatics VIP, which would have required an immediate move to California.
DraftKings also claimed that Hermalyn “fraudulently attempted to establish California residency,” but as of January 1, 2024, California’s Business & Professions Code prohibits employers from enforcing noncompete agreements regardless of where the contract was signed.
Hermalyn’s defense against the allegations marks a significant development in the ongoing legal battle between him and DraftKings, shedding light on the conflicting narratives presented by both parties.