A homegrown solar energy company in Colorado Springs is being sued by an accountant who says he wasn't paid for his services.
In a complaint filed Friday in El Paso County District Court, Nicholas Hellbusch says he is owed for six months' pay for work he agreed to perform for SunShare LLC, a local energy company founded by a Colorado College alumnus.
The suit alleges that company founder David Amster-Olszewski promised Hellbusch $60,000 a year and a share of the company's profits upon hiring him in 2011 to perform tax research, financial modeling and accounting services for the fledgling company.
Instead, Hellbusch says he was paid below that rate for three months' work, all in the form of personal checks from Amster-Olszewski.
Hellbusch alleges that when he pushed for the rest of his pay, he was thanked for "volunteering" and dismissed from the company. The suit also claims Amster-Oszewski directed an intern to wipe the hard drive of a personal computer Hellbusch had been storing at the company's offices, erasing evidence of his work for the company, along with personal documents.
The business relationship reportedly started after Hellbusch and Amster-Olszewski struck up a conversation while hiking Colorado Springs' Barr Trail on Pikes Peak.
The lawsuit was filed by Colorado Springs attorney Jennifer Stock and alleges breach of contract, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and unjust enrichment.
Also named as defendants are Amster-Olszewski, a 2009 graduate of Colorado College, and Sam Henderson, identified in the complaint as a SunShare intern.
A company representative did not return a voicemail left Wednesday at SunShare's listed number.
The energy start-up was founded in 2011 and won a contract this summer with Minneapolis-based energy giant Xcel to build five new solar gardens in the Denver area, marking the company's first expansion outside of El Paso County.