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‘Shark Tank’ star faces lawsuit in Hillsborough for skipping out on buyout

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Shark Tank investor and original panel member Kevin Harrington is facing a lawsuit for allegedly withholding payment to his partner in an online business endeavor.

Harrington partnered with Miami real estate broker Robert Pelletier to found Power Shark Capital in 2013. Their token venture was to create a “celebrity-driven” mobile shopping app called Starshop.

According to a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough County, Pelletier agreed to sell his stake in the St. Pete-based company back to Power Shark for $182,300 after he says he suffered “persistent harassment and bullying.”

The terms of that agreement included payment installments that would be paid out as certain benchmarks were met. Some of those listed in the lawsuit were reaching the first $1 million in sales or launching the StarShop app.

However, Pelletier claimes he’s received just $15,000 of the agreed-upon payments and that Harrington is “downplaying” the company’s success.

He also alleges attorneys have accused him of forgery and kickbacks.

Pelletier is seeking payment due as well as additional damages.

Harrington is not only well-known for his work on the cable show Shark Tank, he has also served as chair of As Seen on TV and CEO of HSN Direct International.

Harrington has also spoken for a TEDx event and written a book titled Act Now! How I turn ideas into million-dollar products. He’s the self-proclaimed “king of the infomercial” and “the man who turned television into sellevision.”

The website for StarShop boasts singer Paula Abdul promoting products like shower speakers that stick to the wall and can answer phone calls. Abdul is not new to the infomercial seen. She’s an HSN frequenter.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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