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Five Star Productions USA Inc. has produced a Miami Dolphins cheerleader video and giant images on stadium and arena scoreboards for teams such as the Dolphins, the Heat and the Panthers. But the company finds nothing sporting about the actions of a former employee who it says is stealing some of its best clients. When the employee, William Horneck, voluntarily left the Delray Beach company last August to start his own multimedia business, he picked up the Dolphins calendar job, a Teen People magazine gig and a Dolphins kick-off dinner video that previously were Five Star assignments, the company contends. “Obviously, these are prestigious clients,” says Kenneth Lipman, a partner at Siegel Lipman Dunay & Shepard in Boca Raton, Fla. who has filed suit in Palm Beach Circuit Court on behalf of Five Star. The suit alleges that Horneck violated a non-compete clause in his employment contract. Five Star, an Emmy Award-winning multimedia company founded in 1993, is seeking temporary and permanent injunctions against Horneck, plus compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, and the right to amend its complaint later to claim punitive damages. “I don’t have a comment at this time,” says Horneck, who now heads a multimedia company called Minds I No Limits Corp. of Boynton Beach, Fla. “I’ll let our legal actions speak.” Horneck was hired at Five Star in January 1998 and was a post supervisor, according to Five Star’s complaint. A post supervisor oversees various projects and keeps clients abreast of work being done, says Five Star founder and majority shareholder Scott Woolley. On his Internet site, Horneck says his job titles at Five Star were senior producer, executive in charge of production and vice president of business development. Horneck’s employment contract stipulated that he would not engage in the same or a similar business as Five Star in Palm Beach and Broward counties for one year from the date of the termination of his employment. The agreement also stipulated that Horneck would not solicit Five Star’s customers or advertisers for two years. He also was barred from revealing trade secrets or confidential information. According to the Internet site of Minds I No Limits Corp., Horneck has field produced a segment of “Hollywood Unleashed,” which airs on the Animal Planet cable channel, and has produced public service announcements and infomercials since forming his own production company. Five Star’s complaint alleges that Minds I No Limits Corp. “is engaging in the same or similar media production business as plaintiff.” The complaint cites the following examples. While Horneck was employed at Five Star, the company worked on projects for Teen People magazine. That work consisted of shooting videos for the magazine that the publication used for publicity purposes, Woolley says. Now, with his own company, Horneck has taken over those projects, Five Star says, and advertises Teen People as one of his clients. Indeed, Horneck’s Internet site touts his involvement in the shooting of a video of Latin pop star Shakira for Teen People. Horneck worked on the Dolphins’ 2000 video cheerleaders calendar project while he was at Five Star. “We did a behind the scenes, the making of” video at Paradise Island, the Bahamas, Woolley says. When Five Star sought the 2001 contract for the same job, it learned that Horneck had already gotten the job, the complaint states. Horneck worked on videos featuring Dolphins players for the team’s annual kick-off dinner in 1999 and 2000. When Five Star solicited the 2001 contract for the event, it learned it had been awarded to Horneck. “To date, I’ve collaborated on video and television projects with more athletes than I can count,” Horneck boasts on his company Internet site. Five Star also charges that Horneck misappropriated a script the company prepared for a charity project organized by Heat star Alonzo Mourning, and posted the script on his own Internet site. Over the past four years, Five Star has donated its time and talents to the tune of more than $350,000 toward helping Mourning publicize his charity work, Woolley says. Five Star also alleges that Horneck interfered with Five Star’s business when he tried, but failed, to coax a Five Star employee to leave the company and join him. Five Star produces and markets TV, radio, film and sports programming for cable and network television. The company won an Emmy a few years ago in the category of editing for a series for its work on the syndicated program, “The Next Millennium,” which dealt with technology and the future. The company currently produces and syndicates four TV shows: “Parenting and Beyond;” “Today’s Health;” “The Balancing Act,” with “Growing Pains” actress Joanna Kerns; and “Today’s Environment” hosted by actor Ed Begley Jr. and seen in 52 countries. Another show that Five Star produced, “The Best of Wine and Food,” hosted by George Hamilton, recently was canceled. Its sports division produces a two-hour, nationally broadcast weekly radio show, “Inside the NHL,” and provides many of the images you see on electronic scoreboards at the games of local and other professional sports teams. Five Star also has a music division that makes DVDs — most recently for the 1960s-era rock music acts Deep Purple and Dave Mason. Five Star has 70 employees, including camera operators, video editors and other multimedia specialists. It’s headquartered in a 38,000-square-foot facility at 430 S. Congress Ave. in Delray Beach, with two sound stages and editing and related facilities. “If you went to California and visited Spelling Productions or Spielberg Productions, you would find the same facilities here that they have,” Woolley says. Five Star attorney Lipman says he hopes to get a court hearing in the next few weeks. Five Star founder Scott Woolley claims in a lawsuit that a former employee is stealing some of his clients. Kenneth Lipman represents Five Star Productions USA Inc. He says a former employee has violated a non-compete clause in an employment contract.

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