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HomeFinanceSeattle startup CFO indicted for taking $35m from agency

Seattle startup CFO indicted for taking $35m from agency



The previous chief monetary officer of a Seattle-based startup took $35 million of his employer’s cash with out permission and misplaced it by investing in cryptocurrency earlier than the crypto market crashed final yr, in accordance with a federal indictment returned by a grand jury Wednesday.

Nevin Shetty, 39, was employed in March 2021 as CFO of an organization referred to as material, which makes software program platforms for retail commerce.

A couple of yr later, after the corporate knowledgeable him it was letting him go over job efficiency issues, he secretly took the cash and transferred it to HighTower Treasury, a crypto platform he managed as a aspect enterprise, the indictment stated.

His concept was to pay the corporate 6% curiosity whereas retaining income above that, however quickly the $35 million funding was virtually nugatory, the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace in Seattle stated in a information launch.

The indictment in U.S. District Court docket charged Shetty with 4 counts of wire fraud. He’s scheduled to be arraigned Might 25.

Shetty’s lawyer, Cooper Offenbecher, stated in an emailed assertion that he and his consumer had been in common contact with prosecutors and disagreed with the choice to convey an indictment.

“Because the CFO of his former employer, tasked with making funding choices for its profit, Mr. Shetty was personally devastated by these losses, which occurred because of a catastrophic crash within the cryptocurrency market in Might 2022,” Offenbecher wrote. “We look ahead to responding to those allegations in Court docket.”

Prosecutors, nonetheless, stated that as the corporate raised lots of of tens of millions of {dollars} in startup funding, it adopted a conservative strategy to managing that cash — a coverage that Shetty had helped draft.

In accordance with the Seattle tech information web site GeekWire, material had raised greater than $293 million by February 2022 and was valued at $1.5 billion.

In an emailed assertion, the corporate stated it had been cooperating with regulation enforcement and appreciated the work of the FBI and federal prosecutors.

“Whereas the quantity taken is substantial, material stays very well-funded with years of runway,” the assertion stated.

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