Fitness YouTubers, Jujimufu (Jon Call) and Tom Boyden, stopped posting videos in January, causing an outcry in the comment section of their videos that has brought a shocking court case to the fitness community.
Jujimufu and Boyden have been in the content creation game for many years, and the Juji and Tom YouTube channel (which is now simply “Jujimufu” channel) was one of the leaders in the fitness industry. Currently, the Jujimufu YouTube channel has 1.29 million subscribers to date and consistently uploads videos that receive 250k+ to a million views.
Jujimufu started out by posting “tricking” videos, which is a combination of gymnastics, parkour, kicks and martial arts. After building an initial following through tricking and lifting weights, Jujimufu became known around the world after going on America’s Got Talent to perform the splits between chairs while shoulder pressing a barbell overhead.
Boyden began to help with shooting and editing the videos as Jujimufu’s following grew. Eventually, Boyden became a co-star to the channel due to the amount of work he was putting into the project. Jujimufu and Boyden grew the channel and also decided to go into business together by starting a company that sells grip strength products (Grip Genie, LLC).
Although the Juji and Tom channel was pumping out content for the last few years, it seems the camera and post-production editing failed to include some of the unsightly parts of their relationship that ultimately led to their downfall earlier this year.
The following is a dive into the court case documents and events that led up to the filing of a “Verified Complaint and Motion for Temporary Restraining Order” on January 27, 2021, by Jujimufu and business partner, Erin Borsodi, on behalf of Grip Genie, LLC.
According to the case documents, Thomas Boyden is being charged on four counts for a Mandatory Complex Business Case. The counts are Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Constructive Fraud, Embezzlement and Breach of the Agreement.
Jujimufu and Boyden started Grip Genie, LLC on October 4, 2018. Months later, Boyden began consulting with Erin Borsodi, who lived in Chicago at the time, on business matters regarding Grip Genie, LLC. After continued business consulting and also developing a personal relationship, Borsodi joined Grip Genie, LLC.
On June 11, 2019, the Grip Genie, LLC operating agreement is worked out with a few details of note. Boyden was named Managing Partner and held held the majority of shares in the company. The operating agreement details that no party to the agreement “will withdraw any portion of their Capital Contribution with the express written consent” of Jujimufu ,Borsodi and Boyden. Also, funds of the company “will not be commingled with those of any other person or entity.”
All appeared normal through the computer screen as the YouTubers pumped out quality content, but on April 15, 2020, there was a blip on the radar. In the affidavit of Erin Borsodi, she included Grip Genie, LLC’s Wells Fargo bank statements, PayPal account statements and credit card statements. According to the bank statements, there was an unauthorized transaction to the tune of $30,000 titled, “IRS Usataxpmt,” with the name, Thomas Boyden, attached.
This was a direct “forbidden act” according to the Grip Genie, LLC operating agreement and inspired Borsodi to inquire about the tax payment. Boyden denied and continues to deny the allegations of the tax payment even after Borsodi contacted the IRS and Wells Fargo who told her that no IRS payment of $30,000 was made by Grip Genie, LLC.
After the mysterious tax payment, Borsodi payed close attention to the companies finances. In the affidavit, it is noted that Boyden “generally derided Borsodi’s efforts because he claimed he was supposed to be controlling the company as CEO and Manager.”
Although this was the first time Borsodi and Jujimufu knew of unauthorized payments from the Grip Genie, LLC account, it was not the first time Boyden had used the money for personal use, and it would not be the last.
A few months later in July, $12,500 was transferred over two weeks with the bank statements reading, “Online Transfer to Boyden T Preferred Checking.” A week later, there were two purchases from the Aria in Las Vegas.
Borsodi and Jujimufu confronted Boyden about the unauthorized gambling withdrawals at a meeting in early August of 2020 where Boyden promised he would return the total amount of gambling withdrawals.
However, in the first two weeks of December, purchases totaling $2,000 were made between Global Poker and World Series of Poker websites, according to the Wells Fargo bank statements. On top of that, the day before the World Series of Poker purchases, $9,000 was transferred to “Online Transfer to Boyden T Preferred Checking.”
The issues between the Grip Genie, LLC partners didn’t stop at the IRS and online gambling.
“In early December of 2020, when Borsodi expressed her opposition to the $43,000 Shopify capital loan described in Paragraph 47.d above, Defendant went to (Jujimufu) and Sam’s house and began berating Borsodi and insulting her business acumen. (Jujimufu) also did not authorize the loan,” according to the affidavit.
Eventually, Jujimufu and Borsodi reached the end of their leash with their business partner and cameraman.
“Because of their friendship with Defendant,” the affidavit states. “Plaintiffs had hoped that Defendant might change his ways. The last month has made clear, however, that Defendant is becoming more brazen in his theft, embezzlement, lies, gambling, and dangerous outbursts.”
Boyden has continued to deny the IRS allegations and in his apology video states, “I am not addicted to drugs or gambling.” Albeit, Boyden has appeared on the YouTube channel, “Ryan Depaulo: Degenerate Gambler,” in the video, “WSOP MAIN EVENT EVE.”
Yet, on January 14 and 18, 2021, two transfers were made from the Grip Genie, LLC account to Shaun Downey for what was surmised to be a poker match. Over time, the frequency and comfort with using Grip Genie, LLC money for personal use has increased, and according to the court documents, totaled $119,459.08.
But the unauthorized transactions were not always for large gambling purchases. Early in January 2020, there was a purchase of “Backyard Leisure” for $2,490. Later in the year, there was a purchase of $88.95 from Skinz, a company that makes “Sexy Swimwear for Men & Women.” Aside from Grip Genie, LLC’s bank statements, there were also $45,397 of unauthorized transactions from the Grip Genie, LLC PayPal account.
In Boyden’s now deleted apology video he said, “the original court filing has been resolved out of court with no pending issues remaining.”
But the embezzlement and gambling may sadly be the lesser issue at play. In the affidavit, Borsodi and Jujimufu state, “Defendant has a history of aggressive outbursts that sometimes verge on violence… Defendant also has shown a lack of regard for the safety and wellbeing of others, including (Jujimufu) in particular.”
Boyden maintains that “legal terminology was misused” in the court filings. He didn’t make any attempt to address any specific allegations, most likely due to legal bindings, but tried to convey his innocence in the matter.
“I have never come close to endangering anyone nor have I threatened to do so,” said Boyden in the apology video. “To my knowledge there has been zero police involvement in this matter. Frankly, I’m struggling with understanding the entirety of the situation and how things got to this point.”
This is the point at which the allegations get messy. Boyden has maintained his innocence and claims that the case has been settled out of court, so the allegations are, at this point: equivocal. The allegations are damning if true and the recollection of time and clarity is hard to argue. Also, several of the incidents have witnesses that are mentioned in the affidavit.
The following are excerpts from the Affidavit of Erin Borsodi that show the breadth of consistency and situational irregularity where Boyden is purported to have acted.
“In the summer of 2017, (Jujimufu) and his wife, Sam, had moved to a new home. Defendant was upset that the couple wanted some time to themselves. He stormed around their rental home, slamming doors and screaming at them. He refused to leave until Sam said she would call the police otherwise.”
“In February of 2019, Defendant and Call were at a gym filming video content. The manager of the gym, with no ill intent or intended insult, referred to Defendant as the “cameraman.” Defendant became angry and began yelling at and confronting the manager. (Jujimufu) had to placate the gym’s owner in order to continue filming.”
“On or around November 9, 2020, Defendant and another person, Randy Alarcon, were filming (Jujimufu) performing a technical weightlifting maneuver with a great deal of weight. (Jujimufu) missed re-racking the bar correctly and began to show distress as the missed re-racking could lead to severe injury. Defendant continued to film while Alarcon immediately stopped filming to go to (Jujimufu’s) aid. When Defendant realized that Alarcon had stopped filming to help (Jujimufu), he began screaming profanities at Alarcon and otherwise threatening him about stopping filming.”
In Jujimufu’s short video he states, “it is with disappointment that I have decided to part ways with Tom. I have not come to this decision hastily or lightly. Continued collaboration with Tom is no longer possible.” Jujimufu continues to say that he will be making videos on the “Jujimufu” channel.
While Boyden stated in his apology that the case is resolved, it is still listed at “Active” on the North Carolina Business Court public access site. Boyden is “voluntarily” no longer a stakeholder in Grip Genie, LLC or the YouTube channel and his plans for the future are unknown.
“All I can say is that I have done what I could to make amends and to correct any wrongs I was responsible for,” said Boyden. “Nothing I did came from a malicious or manipulative place… I’m going to be taking time off so I can focus on moving forward in a positive direction and learning some lessons that I need to learn.”
Jujimufu appears to be moving forward without skipping a beat, releasing a video each day since March 22. Sam, Jujimufu’s wife, has taken on the role of cameraman in the videos while Jujimufu sets up his new gym.
The saga of Juji and Tom appears to be over, but it will be interesting to see the direction the Jujimufu channel takes and also to see if Boyden continues down the path he is on, or decides to make a change.
The Temporary Restraining Order has been extended until April 5 and there may be another extension filed on that day if deemed necessary.