In Stanford University fraud case, allegations of conflicts of interest and biases by San Francisco Judges

August 5, 2019

In ongoing fraud case between technology startup MedWhat and its CEO Arturo Devesa against its investor Stanford-StartX Fund LLC, as well as Stanford University, Stanford General Counsel Debra Zumwalt, and Stanford endowment CEO Robert Wallace, Cross-Complainant Arturo Devesa filed in San Francisco Court an Ex Parte application to recuse and remove part-time Pro Tem Judge Jeff Wohl. Temporary Judge Wohl is assisting full-time Judge Ethan Schulman as a subcontractor in making Motion to Compel recommendations in case.

According to Ex parte application Judge Wohl has serious conflicts of interests in the case with his employer and with Stanford University, questioning his impartiality as a Judge. Mr. Wohl’s is not a full-time judge at the court or appointed by ballot, only a temporary one defined as Pro Tem used by Hon Ethan Schulman. Mr. Wohl’s full-time employer is private equity law firm Paul Hastings which has deep relationships to Cross-Defendant Stanford University and its Trustees, relationship to Stanford University’s Counsel Bahram Seyedin-Noor, financial interests in the proceeding and conflicts of interest in private equity. Upon Wohl’s refusal to remove himself from case given the conflicts of interest, Ex Parte asked Judge Ethan Schulman to recuse his part-time Judge assistant Wohl.

According to San Francisco Court Ex Parte documents, Paul Hastings has financial relationships with Cross-Defendant Stanford University and directly or indirectly with Stanford General Counsel Debra Zumwalt, and Stanford endowment CEO Robert Wallace. Case was made Paul Hastings’ financial interest and/or dealings with Stanford University means Judge’s Wohl has financial interests in this case. Paul Hastings is a private equity and venture capital law firm in the industry and space in with Stanford University and their Stanford-StartX Fund LLC venture capital firm operate in and have investments in. Ex Parte alleges Mr. Wohl is biased in favor of private equity firms like Stanford-StartX Fund which is operated by Stanford University. Key financial interests and conflicts of interest of this judge in this case were based on:

1. The Silicon Valley offices of Wohl’s and Paul Hasting’s are at Stanford University’s Research Park in Palo Alto. Judge’s full-time employer pays Stanford University indirectly to rent space there, at 1117 S California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304

2. Thomas Wisialowski, Chair of Paul Hastings, and boss of Judge Wohl, is a Stanford University Law School alumni and a current member of Advisory Forum of Stanford University Center on the Legal Profession. Paul Hasting provides advice regarding structuring of major corporate venture capital firms that have done directly or indirectly business with Plaintiff STANFORD-STARTX FUNC LLC, such are Greylock Partners with Partners such as John Lilly involved with the Stanford-StartX Fund LLC. Paul Hastings has primarily worked through the use of limited liability companies and partnerships, including the formation of private equity conducted business for its clients, similar in how the Plaintiff is a shell company Limited Liability Company.

3. Judge Wohl’s full-time employer Paul Hastings has held Luncheons and events in the Cross-Defendant’s Stanford University offices and premises in the past.

4. Paul Hastings has received as Visiting Professors, Professor Thomas Heller from Stanford University.

5. Paul Hastings has dozens of Stanford University Law alumni in top positions of power and decision in the Judge’s full-time place of employment and are co-workers of Mr. Wohl with financial interest at Stanford University, including paying Stanford University gifts and donations.

6. Paul Hastings is a Top 5 venture capital and private equity law practice that has financial interest to Stanford University and its BOARD OF TRUSTEES venture capital firms and investments.

7. Paul Hastings has numerous notorious alumni from Cross-Defendant Stanford University.

8. Paul Hastings is a sponsor of JP Morgan Healthcare Conference which MedWhat’s competing companies attend. Paul Hastings has a direct conflict of interests in the private equity industry MedWhat is involved in.

9. Head of M&A at Paul Hastings and co-worker of Judge Wohl is involved in Artificial Intelligence acquisitions with companies that compete with Defendant MEDWHAT and are in the space.

10. Hon Jeff Wohl is a fellow Harvard Law School alumni alongside Stanford University Counsel Bahram Seyedin-Noor who also went to Harvard Law School. Both have attended Harvard reunions and given donations to Harvard endowment. Both lawyers were present with Devesa during hearing.

When Mr. Wohl was presented with facts and evidence against Motion To Compel and facts of Stanford University and private equity firm STANFORD-STARTX FUNC LLC tax violations and Plaintiff not having a bank account of its own to receive potential sanctions, Hon. Wohl told Mr. DEVESA he was ignoring all statements provided by Mr. DEVESA when writing a recommendation for Judge Ethan Schulman to sanction DEVESA and MEDWHAT.

“DEVESA believes Judge’s Wohl recusal would further the interests of justice and asks Court to recuse Judge Wohl’s and all of his recommendation for Motion to Compel against Devesa based on conflict of interest with Stanford University and his employer law firm Paul Hastings.”

In Ex Parte hearing, Judge Ethan Schulman told Devesa not to worry about Mr. Wohl recommendation as he was the person to make a final decision. Mr. Schulman did not recuse Mr. Wohl. A week later during the Motion to Compel hearing, according to Court records Judge Schulman applied Wohl’s recommendation anyway, without recusing him, and sanctioned Mr. Devesa to pay Stanford University’s Stanford-StartX Fund $11,000 legal fees for objecting to MedWhat’s discovery written interrogatories. Upon Devesa telling Judge Ethan Schulman that he was an individual and not a corporation, and telling him paying sanctions to Stanford-StartX Fund was not possible as it would mean a violation of federal tax laws and tax-exemption laws as stanford-starxt fund llc was a shell company without any bank accounts of its own, Devesa claims that’s when the Judge made the decision to Sanctions him. Devesa stated to Judge that in reality it was Stanford University, through its tax-exempt bank accounts, that fraudulently made direct investments to Devesa’s MedWhat company and all StartX companies, instead of for-profit Stanford-StartX Fund LLC making investments through its own bank accounts, that according to Devesa are IRS violations of tax-exemption and money laundering. Judge Ethan Schulman reply to Devesa when he heard this was, ‘I disagree, Sir”, and proceed to sanction Devesa.

Another Judge working on the Stanford University MedWhat case is Judge Richard B. Ulmer, Jr., that according to court records and online records is an alumni of Stanford University Law School. Judge Ulmer, in another court hearing a few days later, stroke down parts of the lawsuit alleging tax fraud and money laundering against all Stanford University and all of its Trustees. That motion is still on Appeal according to Court records.

For more information visit Case Number: CGC18565596