Dallas-based consulting firm Ryan is suing one of the nation’s largest media corporations, alleging that it refused to pay tax service fees and defamed the company in news published on USA Today.
Ryan said Tuesday that he sued Gannett, the owner of USA Today, in a district court in Montgomery County, Texas. His lawsuit alleges that Gannett refuses to pay Ryan “hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax savings” as a fee for helping him save more than $2 million in taxes.
Gannett’s director of communications, Lark-Marie Anton, declined to comment on the lawsuit. She said Gannett and USA Today They are no longer Ryan’s clients.
The lawsuit said USA Today defamed the company in numerous “false articles, podcasts, tweets, and other communications,” one of which was a July 2021 investigative story about the relationship between Ryan founder and CEO G. Brint Ryan and the Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. The lawsuit alleges that USA Today falsely accused “Ryan … of illegal and unethical business practices in his efforts to secure legitimate tax savings for his clients.”
the USA Today The story also did not reveal his relationship with Ryan’s firm to its readers, according to the lawsuit. Ryan said that he requested “corrections, retractions and other remedies” during the last eight months before suing. He is seeking more than $1 million in damages.
“We could not sit idly by and allow a major news organization to misrepresent our business,” G. Brint Ryan said in a statement. “We are exceptionally proud of the legitimate tax savings we have achieved for our global clients, including USA TodayGannett’s parent company.
Ryan has long been an active political donor in Texas.
Ryan LLC runs a political action committee that has donated nearly $258,000 to Republicans in the past four election cycles, according to Open Secrets. The PAC also donated $32,500 to Democrats during that time.
From 2000 to 2014, Brint Ryan gave more than $5 million to campaigns, according to a 2014 report. The Dallas Morning News article, and was CFO for three super PACs that raised nearly $17 million for former Texas Governor Rick Perry’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential bid. In April 2020, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick named Ryan chair of a business task force designed to boost the Texas government. economy once businesses could reopen. He endorsed former President Donald Trump in 2016 and sponsored an event at the University of North Texas that hosted Donald Trump Jr. in 2017.
Ryan, which generated an estimated $630 million in revenue in 2020, describes itself as the largest firm dedicated solely to business tax. It has more than 18,000 clients in 60 countries and employs 3,500 people.
Last month, the firm sold a “significant minority stake” to one of Wall Street’s most prominent investment firms, Ares Management Corp. The undisclosed investment amount raises Ryan’s valuation to $2.5 billion, according to a statement. joint venture of Ryan and Onex Corp., a previous investor in the company.
The companies did not say whether the Ryan, Onex or Ares management team hold the majority stake. The transaction with Ares, which had $325 billion in assets under management as of March 31, is expected to close later this year. Toronto-based Onex spent $317 million in 2018 to buy a 42% stake in Ryan, which the company said at the time gave it a $1.1 billion valuation.