Restraining Order Against Paul Vunak
Text by Samuel Browning
Its not every day that a very respected JKD Instructor gets served with a civil restraining order by his former business partner. Meet Harinder Punnu Sabharwal v. Paul Earl Vunak. A case which demonstrates how creatively Vu can threaten his former allegedly "backstabbing" business partner.
What you see here is the product of a dispute over who gets to control "The Descendants of the Masters", an organization formed by Paul Vunak, Tom Cruise, and Harinder Sabharwal to par down and enhance the ranks of Vunak's Progressive Fighting Systems instructors. Vunak's phone messages reference a "company" (Exhibit A: 2/8/2012) but later refer to a DBA (Exhibit A:3/01/2012) as in "I want the DBA in my fucking name".
For those not up on corporate governance DBA stands for "Doing Business As" which is typically the registration of a particular business name but not the establishment of a partnership, corporation, or LLC. In other words, it appears that the parties had not even drafted the articles of incorporation before the dispute broke out.
It appears from Vunak's messages that Sabharwal had exclusive control over their website http://www.scientificfighting.com (Exhibit A: 2/8/2012) Controlled the bank account(s) Vunak: "I need to be able to get some money out of my company" (Exhibit A: 2/9/2012) Controlled the email address email@example.com (Exhibit A: 2/14/2012) Controlled the accountant, and it appears Vunuk may not have even known the accountant's name. (Exhibit A: 2/15/2012)
There is also Paul's side of their revenue sharing agreement. He claims that he was not getting paid $6,000 a month but closer to $5,250 while Sabharwal was making $4,000 a month which was closer to a 50/50 split. "have the accountant send me all . . . uhh . . . call me, and within 2 days I will have an exact figure of exactly how much you're making every month, OK?!" (Exhibit A: 2/15/2012) From this message it appears there was a dispute over how much of a percentage Sabharwal was going to be earning for running the business side of the operation and that this figure had never been formalized. There is also a reference to asking for the banker to contact him, which indicates that Vunak did not have any control over the business accounts.
By February 16, 2012 the voice mails take a further downward turn with Vunuk demanding that Sabharwal call him. On March 1st, ( Exhibit A: 3/1/2012) Sabharwal claims that Vunak called him and left a recorded message "You fucked up boy! I'll see you at your seminar tomarrow. You're one dead fucking Indian!" Over the next month there was a torrant of other threats, but read the submitted transcripts of the voice recordings yourself. I can't do them justice and they're attached as exhibits A and B to the original application for a restraining order.
There was also a message demanding control over the paypal account which was left with Sabharwal's wife (Exhibit B:4/6/2012) Vunak demanded that in exchange for "the sixty thousand for the car and the $30,000 - so basically if you want me to cough up $90,000 to you, there's only one way its going to happen . . . If you don't turn the company over to me, in one clean sweep, if you don't just transfer the title over. . . If I have to start all over again with paypal, then then I'm not going to give you any money. I'm telling you now." (Exhibit B: 4/6/2012) Finally Vunak demands that Sabharwal pay Andrew Casey who is apparently an employee or subcontractor. (Exhibit A: 2/15/2012)
In the post under this one you will find an attached thumbnail of both the full Request for the Civil Restraining Order and the five page order against Mr. Vunuk which was entered on May 20, 2012 in the Superior Court of California, County of Orange. The applicant was represented by counsel. and the restraining order included Sabharwal, his wife, and his father in law. For some unknown reason, neither Vunak nor his attorney appeared to contest the application.
Based on this order, until May 30, 2015 Mr. Vunak must stay at least 100 yards away from these three named people and Sabharwal's home. He must not harass, intrimidate, stalk, threaten, or assault the applicant and the other protected parties. He must not contact them directly or indirectly through phone, email, or any electronic means or take any action to obtain their address or location. The court stated its order "is based on unlawful violence, a credibile threat of violence, or stalking."
To put it mildly, Vunak comes across as unhinged in some of the transcripts which were submitted to the court. "You are my mortal Fucking enemy! I'm Never, Ever, gonna give up! I'm gonna get you- you cocksucker! You bald, hairless fucking freak!" (Exhibit A: 4/6/2012)
If Vunak wishes to order, and pay for a transcript of the court hearing with his attorney cross examining the applicant and presumably challenging his credibility, or the accuracy of the voice recordings, I would be happy to attach the COMPLETE transcript of this hearing to this thread. Similarly, if Paul Vunak or Tom Cruse or Andrew Casey wish to post their side of this story on this thread, registration on Bullshido is free, and they are welcome to do so.
[Note: the original article was corrected. Helen Cho was originally listed as Vunak's attorney, she actually represented Harinder at the hearing.]