Strange new lawsuit against longtime investor Michael Goguen gets dropped

Early last month, we told you about a bizarre new lawsuit involving longtime venture capitalist Michael Goguen, whose career at Sequoia Capital ended early last year after he was sued in a salacious breach of contract suit that accused him of sexually mistreating a woman named Amber Baptiste, then refusing to honor an elaborate financial arrangement they’d made.

Baptiste and Goguen are set to meet in court this coming May. But the newer suit, filed the first week of December by a former acquaintance named Bryan Nash, was just dropped — and not surprisingly given the circumstances.

According to Nash’s suit, he first met Goguen in 1994 and they became “friends.” As Nash and Goguen’s “friendship developed,” they enjoyed “joint family gatherings,” took “vacations together,” went “mountain biking together,” and also exercised together, it said.

After skipping over two decades (that’s not an exaggeration), Nash’s suit proceeded to claim that last year, Goguen agreed to pay Nash $15 million — and an eventual $19 million altogether — for “unrelated professional and personal assistance to Goguen.” The issue at the crux of the suit was that “before the funds were deposited through the wire transfer,” Goguen then “withheld, or revoked” the transfer.

None of Nash’s complaint added up, as you’ve probably surmised yourself, but that didn’t stop a Mission Viejo, Ca.-based personal injury law firm from agreeing to represent Nash in his lawsuit.

At least, until earlier today.

As we reported in our piece last month, Goguen’s alleged agreement to pay Nash millions of dollars for “personal assistance” was part of a sting operation. As our sources told us at the time, Nash had re-emerged in Goguen’s life after seeing Baptiste’s lawsuit and the vast sums of money involved. According to those sources, soon after Nash approached Goguen, Goguen went to local authorities, saying that Nash was attempting to extort him. Those authorities then worked with Goguen to establish terms of a bogus contract between the two.

When, at the time, we asked Nash’s law firm about the sting operation and why they were bringing the case given the circumstances, his attorneys declined to comment. Apparently, however, they’ve since talked in greater length with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s office, which had helped orchestrate the operation. To wit, Nash’s attorneys finally dismissed the case earlier today “with prejudice,” meaning Nash can’t bring the same action against Goguen on the same claim —  shapeless as that claim was from the start.

We’ll see what happens with Goguen versus Baptiste this spring.

Order of Dismissal With Prejudice by Constance Loizos on Scribd