Would You Buy Crypto From This Man? Silicon Valley CEO Calls Employees N-Word, Beats Up 3 Women, Lawsuits Claim
Gurbaksh Chahal was a child prodigy, starting his first tech firm as a high school dropout when he was 16, and selling his advertising company, Click Agents, for tens of millions of dollars when he was 18.
He appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2008 and inspired people with his story. Born in India, Chahal moved with his family to the U.S. when he was 4. They had $25 to their name, he said in a 2008 episode of the reality TV show “Secret Millionaire.”
More tech companies were launched, but as Chahal’s accolades piled up, so did the allegations against him, Daily Beast reported.
He allegedly ruled his Silicon Valley tech companies with fear and racial slurs, pleading guilty at one point to domestic assault, but staying in charge, former co-workers say.
From the Daily Beast. Story by Kelly Weill.
In 2013, he was filmed hitting and kicking his girlfriend 117 times, and later charged in the alleged beating of another girlfriend. In both instances, he remained at the head of tech companies where, according to a lawsuit reported for the first time by The Daily Beast, he routinely called people “n—rs” and fired an employee who allegedly tried to stop him from hitting a third woman. Two other open lawsuits, between them, accuse him of misleading investors, hiring women based on their looks, and making a death threat against an employee.
That hasn’t stopped him from attempting to raise $100 million with a new a bitcoin-like cryptocurrency that he launched earlier this month with the endorsement of Paris Hilton.
Chahal’s relationship with ValueClick, the company that bought Click Agents, soon deteriorated, along with the company’s stock price. Chahal sued the company for securities fraud, settled, and founded a new advertising technology firm, BlueLithium, which he sold to Yahoo for $300 million in 2007. He moved into a swanky penthouse apartment in San Francisco, which he showed off on TV.
But Chahal’s lifestyle began wearing on his new neighbors. In 2010, the building’s owners association sued Chahal for allegedly violating his tenant agreement, according to court records. They claimed in one instance he berated a female security guard. “He then is reported to have cursed and used degrading language to the employee when he threw the key fob at her,” the lawsuit, which was settled out of court, said.
By 2013, Chahal had launched a third digital advertising agency called RadiumOne, which he boasted of being an industry leader, despite allegations that the company had copied a rival’s business model. (Chahal told Business Insider the allegations were a “weird conspiracy theory.”)
That June, Chahal’s executive assistant Rafael Rojas sent an email to board members accusing Chahal of “illegal activities” including soliciting sex workers, drugging women, and trying to obtain drugs illegally, Rojas wrote in an email obtained by Business Insider. Chahal denied the allegations and sued Rojas for over-billing him for car rides, but the case was dismissed by all parties in August 2013.
By that point, Chahal was facing more serious allegations.
Chahal’s penthouse apartment had a state-of-the-art video surveillance system that on Aug. 5, 2013, filmed Chahal hitting and kicking his girlfriend 117 times and attempting to smother her with a pillow.
Chahal was arrested and charged with 47 felony counts, but didn’t lose the support of the RadiumOne board. A judge later ruled the video inadmissible as evidence, and the alleged victim refused to testify. As a result, the 47 felony charges were dropped and Chahal pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, which resulted in a fine and a year of probation but no jail time.
RadiumOne board members cheered the decision, urging him to keep his head down while the company prepared to go public on the stock market.
Instead, Chahal declared his innocence in a series of online tirades and accused his victim of having sex with other people for money. The RadiumOne board fired him shortly after the outburst.
In July 2014, Chahal launched his current advertising company Gravity4. Two months later, on Sept. 17, 2014, he allegedly beat a different girlfriend in the same San Francisco penthouse.
Chahal’s former second-in-command at Gravity4, chief of staff Ali Al-Ansari, claims in a lawsuit filed June 2017 (that) Chahal … allegedly said he did not believe in “woman rights” or “equal pay.”
Two other ongoing lawsuits from former employees also accuse Chahal of sexism.
In one, Erika Alonso, a former Gravity4 senior vice president, claims she was pressured during her job interview to reveal whether she thought Chahal beat his girlfriend. Once she got the job, Chahal forced her to do shots of hard liquor against her protests, she claims. She claims she lost her job after just two months. Gravity4 called Alonso’s suit “baseless” in a statement.
A third lawsuit by a former Gravity4 employee, Yousef Khraibut, claims Chahal showed a picture of a prospective female hire in a bikini to other male employees, asking them for their opinions on the woman’s breasts. Khraibut supposedly messaged Chahal to say that looking at the picture “wasn’t right.”
“Research bro,” Chahal wrote back, according to Khraibut’s lawsuit. “Everything is online. I do this on EVERY CANDIDATE.” (Chahal responded to Khraibut’s lawsuit in a series of tweets, accusing Khraibut’s lawyer of extorting Chahal “to make a quick buck.”)
After Chahal allegedly beat a girlfriend in September 2014, he allegedly asked Khraibut to lie to police and say he was in the apartment and that Chahal hadn’t beat his girlfriend. Khraibut said he refused.
According to Al-Ansari’s suit, Chahal frequently called black people “n—rs.” Al-Ansari’s lawsuit includes a transcript of a recording Al-Ansari allegedly made of one such exchange.
“We’re diverting into n—r topics,” Chahal is quoted as saying.
“You need to stop,” another man on the recording said, “drop the the n-word.”
“I’m not going to stop the n-word. Dude, do you want me to go ahead and say n—r, n—r, n—r?” Chahal asked. The other man said he didn’t like the term. “I don’t give a fuck. Martin Luther King might not like that, but he’s a n—r, too,” Chahal allegedly said.
Chahal allegedly told Al-Ansari to “avoid hiring n—rs” and claimed that another employee would have been promoted “if he wasn’t a n—r.” Chahal allegedly described President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey as “n—rs” and accused Al-Ansari of being a “n—r lover” when he protested the term.
“If he was displeased with an employee he would claim that they ‘pulled a n—r move,’” Al-Ansari’s suit alleges.
Chahal also allegedly called bankers “Jew n—rs,” blaming them for his failures, particularly for his inability to get more credit from banks. Chahal even lobbed the insult at his small dog when it angered him, Al-Ansari alleges.
Al-Ansari and Khraibut, both of whom are of Arab descent, accuse Chahal of calling them “terrorists” or “ISIS.”
… On Sept. 1, Chahal posted a YouTube video titled “LydianCoin Launch,” which offers practically no information on what LydianCoin is, eschewing a product description for three minutes of a male narrator murmuring inspirational phrases over stock footage of jetpacks and clips of Chahal meeting Obama and Oprah.
Adding to the celebrity sheen was Paris Hilton, who posted tweets and Instagrams like “Looking forward to participating in the new @LydianCoinLtd Token!”
Hilton’s tweets attracted a wave of uncritical media coverage of Chahal’s new product. Some articles didn’t mention Chahal’s widely publicized domestic abuse record, and even fewer appeared to read the LydianCoin white paper, which explained that the cryptocurrency can only be cashed in for advertising campaigns with Gravity4.
“That’s the biggest scam I’ve ever heard,” one former Gravity4 employee said.
Read more at the Daily Beast.
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