Former partner sues local private equity firm

The founder of a payment processing firm in Rockville has filed a $300 million lawsuit against Baltimore-based private equity firm Sterling Partners, alleging that he was fraudulently induced into selling SecureNet Payment Systems.

The lawsuit, filed last week in Baltimore City Circuit Court, alleges that SecureNet's founder and chief executive, Marc Potash, was duped into selling a 52 percent interest of his company to Sterling Partners for $56 million in September 2010.

The lawsuit says the deal stipulated that Potash was to remain CEO and have day-to-day control but was wrongly fired a year later and was unable to collect millions in installment payments.

The lawsuit seeks $92.5 million in compensatory damages and $100 million in punitive damages, among other claims.

A call to Sterling Partners was not returned.

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