Spotlight Innovation, a startup pharmaceutical technology investment firm controlled by two Iowa businessmen — along with several other enterprises launched by the partners over the past several years — is part of a “mere sham” being used to defraud investors in those companies, a former business associate alleges in a lawsuit in Polk County District Court.

The company’s former chief financial officer, John William “Bill” Pim, is suing John Krohn and Michael Kemery, who were officers and directors of Spotlight Innovation and another company, Gooi Global. Pim had worked for Krohn and Kemery for less than a year as chief financial officer of Spotlight Innovation and as an independent contractor with Gooi Global. Spotlight was based in Urbandale, Gooi Global in Des Moines. Krohn and Kemery bought into Spotlight Innovation beginning in December 2016, according to regulatory filings.   

Pim alleges in the suit that Spotlight defaulted on his employment contract, which provided for an annual salary of $120,000, paid biweekly. According to the filing, Spotlight failed to pay Pim from June 22 through Oct. 8, 2018, when he resigned from the company, despite Pim performing all conditions under the contract.  

Pim also alleges that Gooi Global failed to pay him an agreed-to monthly compensation of $3,500 from April 2017 through October 2018. Additionally, Pim loaned more than $55,000 in total to both companies in exchange for promissory notes. The suit seeks to "pierce the corporate veil" of Spotlight so that Pim can hold Krohn personally liable for the wages and unpaid loans owed.

“Spotlight is merely an alter ego of Krohn in that it is undercapitalized, its finances are intermingled with his own and with other companies owned by him and Kemery, it is used to promote fraud, the corporate formalities are not followed and it is a mere sham,” Pim alleges in court documents.

Read more about the case and other pending legal actions.