Celebrities like LeBron James, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber and Saweetie are obsessed with the fashion brand, Rhude. The company’s designer is making headlines, but not for any fashion breakthroughs.
Rhugi Villaseñor, the designer behind the Los Angeles-based streetwear was accused in a federal lawsuit this week of raiding company funds to live like his rich and famous, celebrity clients.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Rhuigi Villaseñor has been accused of embezzling the company’s coffers to “support” a “lavish lifestyle” that includes private jet travels, European vacations, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and a collection of $100,000 watches.
Part owner of Rhude, George Robertson alleged that the 32-year-old boasted annual revenues of up to $30 million but made distributions of as little as $41,000 a year to his co-owner. Robertson owns approximately 20% of the company.
“He has taken advantage of his power and control over the Rhude Companies’ products, designs, bank accounts and financial records to enrich himself to Robertson’s detriment,” the suit alleges.
Robertson is asking for a thorough inspection of the company books and removal of Villaseñor’s sole control of the company. He is seeking compensation for any alleged findings.
To hide revenue from him, Robertson alleges, Villaseñor “routinely sold and continues to sell [Rhude] goods to VIP clients — many of them NBA players, celebrities and musicians — in private sales” and kept the proceeds for himself.
Robertson invested $50,000 back in 2016, gaining a stake in the company and ultimately inventing one of Rhude’s best-known products, the “traxedo” pants, as well as other bestsellers.