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Court Rules That the ‘$70k CEO’ Is Not Overpaid in Suit Filed by Brother

Dan Price, the Gravity Payments CEO known for pledging a minimum salary of $70,000 to all his employees, isn’t overstuffing his own coffers, a judge ruled Friday.

That comes after his brother and co-founder for the credit card payments company, Lucas Price, alleged that Dan Price had overpaid himself and misused company funds for personal expenses last year.

But a Superior Court judge in Seattle, Theresa B. Doyle, ended that dispute after a three-week long trial, ruling that the elder of the two, Lucas, did not give sufficient evidence that Dan had over-compensated himself and violated Lucas’ rights as a minority shareholder. Moreover, Dan’s compensation decisions in 2013 and 2014 were made in “good faith,” Inc. reported.

Additionally, Lucas has been ordered to pay Dan’s legal fees—estimated to be around $1 million, Dan told Inc. last year.

Dan, who owns 67% of the company, rose to prominence after setting the minimum wage for his company’s 120-some employees to $70,000 last year. He also pledged to cut his own pay from $1.1 million to $70,000. Just a few weeks after that news broke, Lucas Price, with about 33% of the payments company, sued his brother after years of sparring, back-and-forth, about how to compensate Dan. Lucas however signed the complaint before Dan made that announcement.


According to court filings seen by Inc., Dan earned $1.1 million in 2014 and 2013, $2.04 million in 2012, and $909,000 in 2011. In 2008, the two brothers agreed to restructure their fast-growing company, giving Dan a majority stake, while Lucas would no longer manage day-to-day activities.

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In a Facebook post following the ruling, Dan wrote: “My love for my brother is unconditional. I will never take for granted the incredibly valuable role Lucas played in creating our company.”

Fortune has reached out to Lucas’ attorney, Greg Hollon, and will update this story when he responds.