Move, Inc. filed new documentation this week revealing the author of an anonymous letter alleging unlawful conduct by Zillow Group Chief Industry Development Officer Errol Samuelson, former chief strategy officer of Move and president of realtor.com®.
The April 16 filing contains a copy of a private Zillow document naming Chris Crocker, former vice president of strategic partnerships at Zillow, as likely the anonymous “whistleblower” who sent the letter to Move just two days prior to his last day with the company. Crocker was advised of his termination from Zillow earlier this year.
“Mr. Crocker was one of only a few individuals with knowledge of some of the information contained in the letter,” Zillow’s court documents show. Notably, the letter bore Crocker’s signature closing, “Good hunting.”
“We have not publicly identified the author of the letter,” Zillow said in an emailed statement to RISMedia. A representative for Move declined to offer further details on the case.
In the letter, Crocker corroborates Samuelson’s alleged use of stolen databases and documents hidden outside of Zillow’s electronic services. The letter also indicates Samuelson, who was barred from engaging in Zillow initiatives with an injunction last July, was in fact working while under court order.
Additionally, the letter points to Zillow Vice President of Industry Development Curt Beardsley, former vice president of product marketing for Move, stating Beardsley harbors copies of Move’s private MLS database and others in off-network storage to keep the information off his work computer.
The ongoing legal tussle stretches back to March 2014, when Move and the National Association of REALTORS® filed a lawsuit against Zillow and Samuelson for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of trade secrets, among other actions. Move filed another lawsuit against Beardsley in December alleging breach of contract and other Corporations Code violations.
Stay tuned to RISMedia for continuing updates.