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BioVeris Founder's Son Fights to Stay
Wohlstadter Says He Reimbursed Joint Venture for Condo, Cars

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By Michael Barbaro
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 7, 2004; Page E05

The son of BioVeris Corp.'s chief executive said in court papers that he has reimbursed a joint venture for money used to buy luxury cars and real estate.

In the documents, filed in state court in Delaware, Jacob N. Wohlstadter, 34, also fought to maintain his authority as president of the joint venture that is developing technology for BioVeris, the Gaithersburg biotechnology company created and headed by his father, Samuel J. Wohlstadter.

In a lawsuit filed last month, BioVeris accused the younger Wohlstadter of using money from the joint venture to buy or put down deposits on at least 10 cars and three properties, including a $136,000 BMW roadster and a $4.2 million condominium in the new Time Warner building in New York City.

Wohlstadter has never denied that money from the joint venture was used to make the purchases, arguing in an affidavit that the joint venture held the title to the cars and the property and that "company funds were never used to purchase property in my name."

In the latest court filing, made June 25, Wohlstadter said he has paid the joint venture money "sufficient to reimburse" it for the purchases. It was not clear how the payments were made or how much they totaled. Wohlstadter said he had obtained a refund plus interest on the deposit for the condo in the Time Warner building.

Jacob Wohlstadter did not return a message left at his office, and his attorney declined comment. A BioVeris spokesman also declined comment.

Wohlstadter, in the filing, asked the court to reverse an order that reigns in his power as president of the joint venture.

On June 21, the Delaware Court of Chancery granted a motion filed by BioVeris to bar Wohlstadter from spending more than $10,000 without approval of the joint venture's two-person management board, of which he is a member. That order also blocks Wohlstadter from removing the second member of the joint venture's board, BioVeris President Richard J. Massey.

But in his most recent filing, Wohlstadter suggests that since he has initiated the process of buying BioVeris's share of the joint venture, he can remove Massey from the board. In Massey's place, according to the filing, Wohlstadter wants BioVeris to elect a "designee" of his private company, which is BioVeris's partner in the joint venture.


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