Okay, so now we learn something that Aparna still has not figured out: It wasn’t about her or her app. All the whining, complaining, and anger back at Herp Hacienda was based on the wrong assumptions.
Cricket Bro found his golden calf in another programmer’s work, so he simply closed shop on all of the other wannabe killer apps and cut the developers loose. However, he kept their apps. This is not unusual, as they were using company equipment and working at his office. As employees or even just as contractors, he would own the rights to whatever they were working on, successful or not. No doubt, Aparna probably forgot about the agreement she would have had to sign to work there in the first place. It would be foolish to assume such agreements would not have been signed.
Sure, Cricket Bro and his associates are creeps, but what if Aparna and her compatriots are running a scam, themselves? What if they deliberately brought Mark into this deal and manipulated him to get involved and volunteer to be the distraction they need for their own goal? That is, what if they are not good guys, either? They could even be industrial spies of a sort, using Mark as a patsy.