New information suggests that “Jujimufu and Tom’s Channel” on YouTube broke up over poker addiction and embezzlement. Tom left the channel in the last few months without explanation, causing the fitness community online to speculate wildly as to why. The pair’s channel focused on bodybuilding, personal health, and fitness.
Now, court documents detailing the business partners’ problems have come to light. Jon “Jujimufu” Call alleges that his sidekick Thomas “Tom” Boyden stole money from their company. Boyden allegedly used the embezzled funds to fuel his problem gambling and to stake another poker player, Shaun Downey, in poker tournaments.
Call posted a video on March 19, 2021 addressing the channel’s 1.3 million subscribers and explaining that he and Boyden would no longer be working together.
In the video titled: JUJI PARTS WAYS WITH TOM, Call says: “It is with disappointment that I have decided to part ways with Tom.”
He continues, “I have not come to this decision hastily or lightly. Continued collaboration with Tom was no longer possible. At this point, the best thing — for you and for me — is to focus on looking forward and on the way ahead.”
In the video, Call does not explain why Tom left. However, the court documents that have surfaced indicate that the split centered around Tom’s alleged use of Grip Genie LLC funds for personal reasons.
The total amount Boyden allegedly removed from the company accounts came to $119,459. Call also accused Boyden of incurring four unauthorized loans in the company’s name. These loans amount to another $172,000. The most recent of these loans was as late as December 2020. This was months after Boyden’s partners started to ask him questions about the financial irregularities. The irregularities were first noticed in April 2020.
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The documents relating to the case can be found on the North Carolina Business Court’s public access page. As far as we’re aware, no other news site has analyzed these documents at the time of writing.
Call’s main claims to fame are his appearance on America’s Got Talent and his massively popular YouTube channel. Boyden’s presence on the videos was deliberately abrasive. He acted as a foil for the gentle-giant persona of Call. Together they turned their enormous YouTube success into a joint business venture: Grip Genie LLC. Boyden and Call founded Grip Genie LLC together in 2018, off the back of their YouTube success. The company sells products that they claim can improve athletes’ grip strength.
In April of 2020, Call noticed an unusual $30,000 withdrawal from Grip Genie accounts. This money was earmarked for taxes. Further investigation revealed that the company had not paid that money to the IRS. Instead, it became apparent that Boyden had used the funds for his own personal tax liabilities rather than the company’s.
Erin Borsodi is a business partner of Call and Boyden’s. She dug a little deeper into the company accounts and found that Boyden had made a number of other withdrawals which Borsodi flagged as possible “embezzlement.” These included payments to on Shaun Downey.
The court documents also list personal concerns. These include “aggressive outbursts that sometimes verge on violence,” and “a lack of regard for the safety and wellbeing of others, including Call in particular.”
The non-exhaustive list of aggressive incidents listed in this section of the complaint run from a. to i.
It is Section VII of the complaint that focuses on Boyden’s alleged gambling habit. Some of the points listed seem innocuous. For example, “Defendant [i.e. Boyden] frequently travels to poker tournaments and participates in online matches.” Who among us doesn’t?
More troubling are the apparent links between Boyden’s withdrawals and the time he spent in Vegas, New Jersey, and Florida on “poker trips.” The complaint lists without comment that many of the withdrawals took place in July 2020. We can add the comment that this was at the height of GGPoker’s WSOP Online.
During the following months, after Boyden was confronted about the gambling withdrawals, he began to use the company credit cards to fund online poker accounts. The complaint uses the phrase “more brazen” frequently, which feels like an understatement. One of the withdrawals — to stake one Shaun Downey — came out of the company accounts in the very week the complaint was filed.
It appears that Boyden was staking Downey in poker tournaments. The only Shaun Downey listed on the Hendon Mob has a little under $6k in cashes at the time of writing. So this does not sound like a hugely profitable arrangement.
In several videos in the past, Boyden spoke about enjoying poker. While he does not admit to being a gambling addict, one can hardly look at his behavior and suggest his relationship with the game is healthy.
The case contains four counts and one request for a restraining order. The counts are for: breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, embezzlement, and breach of the partnership agreement. This is a pretty spectacular set of reasons to end a social media collab.
Featured image source: Instagram