Dave Mays Files Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Against Black Enterprise, Seeks New Injunction

The Source Magazine

has announced

the filing of a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the Black Enterprise Greenwich

Street private equity fund, claiming members plotted to steal the magazine and

illegally fired Source founder Dave Mays as CEO.

Mays has retained

the law firm of Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard P.A., to help him

regain control of the magazine he founded in 1988 out of his Harvard University

dorm room.

"Since I started

this magazine 18 years ago, I have always placed the best interests of my readers

first, and I built a vibrant business by earning the trust and loyalty of millions

of Hip-Hop fans across the world," Mays said in a statement. "I did

this by always making sure that The Source's editorial voice was unbiased

and independent of commercial influences, standing strong in the face of Hip-Hop's

detractors and never bowing down to corporate or advertiser pressures.

"It is truly

sad to see that my 'partners' at Black Enterprise appear to have gone behind

my back and chosen to blatantly undermine the editorial integrity of the Hip-Hop

community's only independently-owned media voice, selling our readership out

to corrupt big-corporate interests for their own selfish financial gain."

Mays' lawsuit alleges

intentional, malicious and bad faith conduct in an attempt to wrestle control

of the magazine, which had defaulted on $18 million dollars in loans from backer

Textron Financial Corp.

Mays and the magazine's

co-founder, Ray "Benzino" Scott, allege that they still retain 82%

shareholders in the company, while The Black Enterprise Greenwich Street Fund

acquired the other 18% for $12 million in April of 2002.

"Their scheme

to steal our magazine is probably fueled by their desire to add it to their

own struggling publishing operation [Black Enterprise magazine, which]

I believe has not been nearly as profitable for them in recent years as it once

was," Benzino said in a statement.

The two parties

will face each other in front of Honorable Justice Richard Lowe in New York

State Supreme Court on Feb. 21.

In January, Mays

and Scott were terminated from their positions as CEO's. A new board of directors

designated former Source COO Jeremy Miller to serve as the new CEO. Miller

vowed to turn the magazine around.

Mays is seeking

an immediate injunction that will reinstate him as CEO of the company, removing

Miller from the position.