(NEW ORLEANS) – December 14, 2021 – Theodent, a New Orleans-based premiere toothpaste company and makers of the renowned chocolate toothpaste, has filed a lawsuit against its former president and CEO for embezzlement.
The civil suit was filed at the Jefferson Parish 24th Judicial District Court and comes after months of negotiations between Theodent’s founders and former CEO Arman Sadeghpour. He was fired in 2020 after it was discovered he had misappropriated nearly $1.2 million in company funds.
Outlined in the suit are examples of egregiously inappropriate spending by Sadeghpour, including thousands spent on food, luxury clothing, Japanese pottery, vacations, incense and more.
“We didn’t arrive at this decision lightly,” said Joseph Fuselier, co-founder and board member of Theodent. “We worked diligently to avoid taking legal action, but Arman forced our hand. For years, Arman abused his position as CEO by using company funds to pay personal expenses – things like groceries and massages – and to buy himself lavish clothes, works of art and other luxuries.”
The suit says Sadeghpour, the former head of Tulane’s Alumni Association, abused his power and authority by lavishly spending Theodent’s money on his personal lifestyle. The amounts are staggering— $265,000 in online shopping at sites like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay; $7,500 on incense; and $2,000 on perfume are just the tip of the iceberg. Sadeghpour claimed that these, and hundreds of other questionable purchases, were supposedly “business expenses.”
“All of these expenses were fraudulent,” said Dan Centner, of Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway, the law firm representing Theodent’s founders. “There is no legitimate basis for a toothpaste company to purchase art, or antique furniture, Japanese pottery, designer perfume or Burberry clothes. His actions have consequences and today Theodent took steps to hold Arman Sadeghpour accountable for what we believe is theft.”
Theodent toothpaste is the brainchild of Dr. Tetsuo Nakamoto, whose research analyzing the effect of caffeine on developing teeth revealed that theobromine found in cacao causes an increase in enamel crystal size. This unexpected discovery unveiled an ironic truth: a component of chocolate actually enhances tooth enamel strength. Theodent launched in 2012 and has since grown into worldwide distribution.
Though stung by Sadeghpour’s betrayal, Dr. Nakamoto and Fuselier, who are now ably leading Theodent as Co-CEO’s, both agree that the company is stronger than ever and expect even bigger things to come.
About Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway
Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway is a national litigation law firm that represents individuals and entities who have been the victims of negligence, fraud, or the misconduct of powerful interests. The law firm maintains offices in New Orleans, Austin, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Youngstown. For more information, visit www.peifferwolf.com.
Ancient civilizations knew the power of nature and the potency of chocolate. Today, we carry their legacy with our research. Theodent toothpaste harnesses the power of cacao in a revolutionary line of premium dentifrices to improve oral health, with NO fluoride. Oral health is so important for every single person on the planet, and Theodent is leading the technological innovation of fluoride-free revolution in oral care.
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