LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A television commentator and businesswoman is suing her former chief of staff, alleging she made hundreds of charges on a corporate credit account to support a lavish lifestyle while the plaintiff was distracted by other events, including her writing sabbatical.
Angela Rye filed the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit on behalf of herself and IMPACT Strategies against Naja P. Mix, alleging fraud/theft/embezzlement, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, conversion and unfair business practices. Rye is the CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm. Rye seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Her legal team includes former O.J. Simpson attorney Carl Douglas and civil rights lawyer Ben Crump. A representative for Mix could not be immediately reached for comment on the suit filed Wednesday.
``This case is about a defendant who served as a chief of staff for the plaintiff's company and established trust only to abuse it,'' the suit states. The alleged financial abuse occurred during a time when Rye was experiencing a ``series of tumultuous events, including ... an absent business manager and a writing sabbatical,'' according to the suit.
``The defendant led a life of extravagance, dining at the finest restaurants, renting expensive cars, traveling first class and buying out the bar at the plaintiff's expense,'' all without Rye's knowledge, according to the suit. For nearly two years, Mix engaged in mail fraud, wire fraud and embezzlement using a corporate American Express card entrusted to her, the suit states. In August 2021, Mix spent $1,325 at the Adults Only bar in Hollywood and a month later paid a $2,500 deposit for a luxury apartment in Anaheim, according to the suit.
Mix also bought Delta Airlines tickets for herself and her boyfriend to fly to New Orleans to attend LSU's homecoming in October 2021 and she had a $1,040 bill at AC Hotel, the suit states. Mix continued her lavish spending at restaurants and in travel in 2022, including a brunch at the Rooftop by JG at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills in November that included tequila and food totaling $560, the suit alleges. Rye filed a police report with Los Angeles police on April 5 alleging theft and embezzlement, the suit states. Rye is currently a special correspondent for ESPN.