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Trustify faces lawsuit amid investment disappearance

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Show me the money — that's what venture capital firm Anchorage Capital is saying to Trustify, a Washington, D.C.-based on-demand platform for private investigators, in which it invested $4.75 million to lead a Series A round in May 2017.

The state of play: Anchorage last week filed suit against Trustify, arguing that the company had basically disappeared with a subsequent $2 million investment in May 2018 (as part of a Series B round that never materialized).

  • And I do mean disappeared, as the company appears to be defunct. Office empty, etc. This comes after an ugly breakup between husband/wife co-founders Danny Boice and Jennifer Mellon and a group of Trustify employees suing for back pay.
  • Anchorage alleges that it was told that a firm called Nfluence was leading the Series B round, both by CEO Boice and Nfluence managing partner Gary Moon, and that Nfluence had wired a check (causing Anchorage to wire its own). Per the lawsuit, Nfluence never sent any cash and, when Anchorage asked both parties, it allegedly "received no response or explanation."
  • Anchorage also alleges, in part based on the employee lawsuit, that Boice and Mellon used a good portion of company cash for personal use.

The bottom line: It's doubtful there is any money left to show.