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Three years ago, John Lees was looking to expand his seafood business in New Bedford. Prices for scallops were skyrocketing and Lees sensed the time was ripe to make a big move. So it appeared fortuitous when a Lithuanian tycoon offered to buy much of Lee’s company, Marlees Seafood.
“I was looking at becoming a big part of something. This was going to give me the scale that I believed I needed,” Lees recalled of the offer from Julius Numavicius.
Now the pair are in a dock fight.
Numavicius accuses Lees of bilking him out of more than $22 million, according to papers filed in US District Court in Boston, by inflating the value of the company and engaging in a schemes and kickbacks.