The Utah Court of Appeals orders released today contained this slimy anecdote in the competition between the Utah for-profit colleges Stevens-Henager and Eagle Gate.---
In 2003, Eagle Gate began hiring Stevens-Henager's employees, including Jana Miller, an admissions consultant. After Miller began her employment, she recruited additional Stevens-Henager employees who also moved to Eagle Gate. Some of these employees had access to a confidential database of potential students (leads) that had been compiled through the advertising and recruitment efforts of Stevens-Henager. Shortly after moving to Eagle Gate, these employees downloaded the list of leads from the Stevens-Henager database and altered the information on the Stevens-Henager computer system to impede Stevens-Henager's ability to contact the potential students.
Wow. At least Eagle Gate fired those employees when they found out, the court wrote. But there's more ...
Stevens-Henager alleges that Eagle Gate "attempted to steal Stevens-Henager's Polynesian Program" by "trying to hire" Stevens-Henager's Tongan recruiters "[a]fter Stevens-Henager had spent more than $200,000 on recruiting efforts in the Tongan community."
The Utah Court of Appeals ruled against Stevens-Henagar, however, because, despite initially claiming more than $10 million in damages, they couldn't actually prove those damages occurred. Sometimes losses happen that can't be proved, but who knows in this case.
Both of these are Utah companies. Stevens-Henagar was born in Ogden more than a century ago, according to their website.%uFFFD I can't find anything about history on Eagle Gate's website, but their three campuses are all in Utah.
I know a lot of you favor laissez faire economics, but this truly is the wild west of the business world.
Read the whole ruling, new today, below.