Back in 2004 serial automotive entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin announced plans to collaborate with "rogue" Chinese automaker Chery Motors to bring new cars to the US market. Chery is referred to as "rogue" because the company never actually got permission from the Chinese government to get into the car business. Needless to say, the deal eventually fell apart when Chery decided to hook up first with Israel Corp and Quantum LLC for a different joint venture which has also yet to come to fruition.

Bricklin's company, Visionary Vehicles, which is now know as V Cars LLC, has now filed a lawsuit against Chery, Israel Corp, and Quantum LLC, et al. The suit is being filed under RICO statutes, typically used to go after mobsters, and V Cars is hoping to pursue Chery for the potential profits the company feels it could have made over the course of the deal. How much? $14 billion.

V Cars claims they provided Chery with business plans and ideas (along with $26 million in up front investments) which they then used for their own business after abandoning the deal. During a conference call today, Bricklin explained that he wants to show Chery and other Chinese companies that if they are going to do business with western companies they need to deal ethically and follow the rules. V Cars is also seeking injunctions to prevent Chery from selling any vehicles based on these plans in North America. The complete text of the suit that has been filed in Federal District Court in Detroit can be read here (Warning: PDF download).

[Source: V Cars]