A payroll company claims one of Thomson Reuters’ directors tried to bribe it — and then ended a lucrative contract when it didn’t take the dough, according to a new lawsuit.
Pride Technologies, LLC, or Pride One, says that the media organization’s director of the Professional Services Sourcing Team, Daniel Khublall, tried to get a $250,000-per-year job to run Pride One’s international business beginning in June 2016, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed Thursday.
In exchange, Khublall told Pride One’s CEO, Leo Russell, that he would try to get Reuters to increase the profits that Pride One received from the nearly 500 temporary Reuters employees whose payroll they handled, the court papers say.
“Defendant said he would enable Pride One to earn a substantially higher margin on the Payroll Services it was currently providing Thomson, but only if Pride One would guarantee him a profitable employment position,” the court documents allege.
Russell “categorically refused,” and in the coming months Khublall allegedly made “multiple attempts to convince Mr. Russell to participate in his scheme, but Mr. Russell continued to refuse,” the court papers claim.
Pride One, which worked with Reuters since 2012, says that suddenly in June 2017 Khublall asked them for a proposal to continue their business relationship — which Khublall ultimately turned down “without meaningful discussion,” the suit alleges.
Then on Sept. 7, 2017, Reuters cancelled its business with Pride One altogether without explanation, the court papers claim.
“It was apparent to Pride One that Defendant [Khublall] had terminated or caused to be terminated Pride One’s relationship with Thomson in retaliation for Pride One’s refusal to accept the bribery scheme Defendant had solicited,” the court documents charge.
Pride One says they’ve lost tens of millions in revenue as a result. The company is seeking unspecified damages.
Reuters is not named as a defendant in the suit.
According to Khublall’s LinkedIn page, he began working for Reuters in 2014 and left in January. It was not immediately clear why he left the company.
Khublall and a rep for Reuters both declined to comment.
A lawyer for Pride One did not immediately return a request for comment.