The initial victory came in 2016 when Trendsettah secured a $14.8 million jury award in the antitrust suit, which ballooned to a breathtaking $44 million after trebling, coupled with $9.1 million for the breach of contract claim. However, this victory was short-lived as Judge Selna, citing improper jury instructions, dismissed the antitrust portion and called for a new trial, throwing a curveball into the proceedings.
Trendsettah USA Inc wins $10.8M in Fees: Appeals and Indictments
In a dramatic turn, rather than opting for a new trial, Swisher pursued summary judgment. In December 2016, Judge Selna’s gavel fell, granting judgment for Trendsettah on the breach of contract claims while favoring Swisher on the antitrust and all other claims.
The plot thickened in 2019 when federal prosecutors charged Trendsettah’s founder and CEO, Akrum Alrahib, with conspiracy, alleging price manipulation in cigarillo imports. His subsequent guilty plea in November 2021 added a scandalous hue to the narrative.