(ATLANTA) — As the business he co-founded was exploding into a mushroom cloud of pixie dust, BitPay co-founder, Tony Gallippi, was jet-setting across the Atlantic, visiting London, and rapidly burning through the company’s remaining cash.
The first signs of trouble at the firm began surfacing on September 16th, as news stories began circulating of a hacking scandal within the executive offices of the struggling payment processor. According to court documents, during December 2014, BitPay’s CEO Stephen Pair sent $1.8 million dollars to a bitcoin address provided to him in an email from an individual impersonating the company’s chief financial officer, Bryan Krohn.
The news came to light after Bitpay elected to sue its insurance provider in an attempt to recover the lost funds. The company is asking the courts to force its insurance provider to cover the CEO’s multi-million-dollar blunder. Even though BitPay has raised $32.5 million through three funding rounds, mistakenly sending nearly $2 million in bitcoin to the wrong person does eat up cash fast.
Interestingly, as word of the scandal began spreading through the Bitcoin community, BitPay’s co-founder, Tony Gallippi, was appearing in-studio on RT television program “The Keiser Report”, which broadcasts from London, England.
This means Callippi left the company’s Atlanta headquarters, traveling abroad, burning up precious company cash, instead of conserving resources by staying home and working on an emergency plan to save the company.
Shortly after the globe trotting co-founder returned from his European adventures, BitPay staff were seen leaving the company’s offices in tears carrying cardboard boxes in hand. One eye witness commented on Reddit:
I’m not going to take pictures of coworkers leaving with boxes in their arms in tears. Call the office and ask Sara the receptionist. You could also just come by the office if you are in Atlanta.
A few hours later, news reports confirmed that the company had in fact laid off the majority of its staff. The layoffs came just a day after BitPay announced it would end its “free and unlimited” offer for merchants (which had been promised to last “forever”), and just a week after Callippi’s European vacation.
Why was Gallippi splurging on international trips if the business was crumbling? Why didn’t Pair resign after making such a catastrophic foul? Log in below using your favorite social network and weigh in on the discussion.