Ex-Crypto CEO Caught Up in Partying Claims at Bitcoin Conference

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(Bloomberg) — A former Wall Road dealer who grew to become the top of a serious crypto firm has been caught up in allegations about drug use and his relationship with a 19-year-old intern at a Bitcoin convention final yr as a part of a lawsuit filed by a former colleague.

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Phillip Gillespie, 40, the previous co-chief government officer of B2C2, was accused of extreme ingesting, taking cocaine and hallucinogens, in addition to giving the medication to others, together with the intern. The allegations surfaced in a Sept. 1 lawsuit in New Jersey towards B2C2 by its former international head of choices buying and selling, Bradley Nagela, who stated he was fired in retaliation for elevating issues about Gillespie’s conduct.

Gillespie, who stepped down as B2C2 CEO final November, stated the allegations are “pure rumour” and that Nagela wasn’t “in attendance on the convention in query.”

“Brad Nagela and I’ve by no means as soon as met in individual and our interplay was restricted to a couple calls,” Gillespie, who wasn’t sued as a part of the lawsuit, stated in an electronic mail to Bloomberg Information.

The lawsuit provides a uncommon glimpse into personnel disputes within the crypto trade, which remains to be reeling from the falling value of Bitcoin tokens and the collapse of a number of firms.

Additionally it is the most recent fallout from the crypto trade’s infamous partying scene. The temper at Bitcoin 2022 – one of many trade’s largest annual extravaganzas – remained feverish, drawing greater than 25,000 attendees, together with Michael Novogratz and Peter Thiel. Crypto dignitaries and devotees made the pilgrimage to Miami from everywhere in the world, and so many after-parties had been thrown that an excel spreadsheet was handed round by conference-goers to plan accordingly.

Learn extra: Bitcoin Extravaganza is ‘All About Eye-Catching’ Submit Pandemic

Within the lawsuit, Nagela stated he grew to become alarmed after the corporate obtained an electronic mail from the daddy of the intern, who expressed issues in regards to the authenticity of the invitation for his daughter to journey to Miami from her house in Thailand, saying she is “too younger” and worrying that it’s “one thing associated to prostitution.”

B2C2 investigated the daddy’s electronic mail and confirmed that Gillespie, who was based mostly in Japan, had organized to fly the intern to accompany him on the convention, in line with the lawsuit.

The intern, reached by Bloomberg Information, stated in an electronic mail that allegations about her relationship with Gillespie within the lawsuit aren’t true, and he or she’s “grateful for the chance that Phil gave me to work at B2C2.”

A spokesperson for B2C2 stated Nagela was terminated in September 2022 “following a interval of great underperformance” and the corporate will produce “detailed proof to show this in courtroom, however we’re unable to remark additional while the matter is topic to courtroom proceedings.”

Nagela’s lawyer, Jacqueline Tillmann, stated that her consumer “had an moral and regulatory obligation to report misconduct and monetary malfeasance at B2C2.”

Based in 2015, London-based B2C2, owned by Japanese group SBI Holdings Inc., is a crypto market-maker that executes trades for institutional buyers and brokerages together with Robinhood Markets Inc.

Previous to B2C2, Gillespie labored at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in London, the place he managed systematic market making in FX, in line with his LinkedIn profile. He joined B2C2 in 2018 after being recruited by its founder and fellow Goldman alum Max Boonen.

Cloak-and-Dagger

Nagela, who was a US-based B2C2 government, paints an image within the lawsuit of a cloak-and-dagger battle that encompassed each his makes an attempt to lift issues about Gillespie and finally, his personal dismissal.

Whereas Nagela, —- who labored at B2C2 for a few yr and a half — admits within the lawsuit that he didn’t attend the convention, he stated he heard experiences from subordinates about Gillespie’s alleged extreme ingesting and cocaine use at a minibar and at one other occasion.

He subsequently raised his issues to the agency’s basic counsel, Dean Sovolos, and a US-based co-CEO, Rob Catalanello, however he stated he was stymied, a minimum of partially, by the shortage of a written criticism towards Gillespie from somebody on the convention, in line with the lawsuit.

Nagela stated a few of the highest degree managers at B2C2, together with Nicola White, who has since turn out to be CEO, opted to “tolerate and switch a blind eye towards” Gillespie’s alleged conduct.

White and Sovolos each declined to remark. Catalanello, who now not works on the firm, additionally declined to remark.

Inside just a few weeks, Nagela’s personal place had turn out to be untenable, in line with the lawsuit. He stated in Could {that a} subordinate give up quite than take a promotion and hearth Nagela.

Firing

On Sept. 1, the lawsuit says White informed Nagela that he was being fired as a part of a restructuring.

Gillespie, who had turn out to be sole CEO of B2C2 earlier that yr, stepped down himself in November, about two months later. The corporate stated in a press release on the time that he was taking a job at father or mother firm SBI.

He at present is managing accomplice at AWR Capital, a London-based algorithmic crypto hedge fund. Gillespie declined to remark past his assertion, as “that is an ongoing courtroom case with B2C2.” The corporate additionally declined to touch upon the rationale for his departure.

The case is Nagela v. B2C2, US District Court docket for the District of New Jersey, 2:23-cv-13982-MCA-CLW.

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