*The CEO of technology firm Monster is suing Beats Electronics and its co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine for allegedly swindling him before selling the headphone company to Apple for $3 billion.
In the complaint, filed in a California court on Tuesday, Noel Lee, who also founded the video and audio cable company, accuses Dre and Iovine of double crossing him.
The suit alleges the shady maneuvering prompted Lee to pare his stake in Beats to 1.25 percent before selling his remaining holdings for $5.5 million in the autumn of 2013 after being assured by Beats executives that there were no plans to sell the company for at least several years.
Beats announced its sale to Apple in May, opening the door for Dre and Iovine to become executives at the iPhone and iPad maker. Had he held on to his 1.25 percent stake, Lee would have received more than $30 million in the Apple deal. His original 5 percent stake would have been worth roughly $150 million.
Both Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, and Iovine, a longtime recording industry executive, reaped the biggest jackpots in the Apple deal, though the precise size of their windfalls hasn’t been disclosed.
Lee’s lawsuit says Dre and Iovine each owned 15 percent stakes in the early stages of the Beats partnership.
The lawsuit also targets HTC America Holding Ltd. and Paul Wachter, a Beats investor and board member.