A source tips us off to how Pay By Touch CEO John Rogers celebrated his 40th birthday at the office. "They had a cake decorated with '240 by 40,' which meant $240 million raised by the time he was 40. The guy is a serious egomaniac." An egomaniac whose company faced legal trouble almost since its formation. If you're the sort who slows down to check out the wreck on the other side of the road, here's the whole sordid history, culled from mountains of legal filings.
- In September 2003, investors sued, claiming executives misrepresented revenues when Pay By Touch's predecessors, Indivos and Solidus Networks, merged in 2003. Indivos investors sued again for the same reason in 2006. Both cases were dismissed.
- Former HR head Bernadette Robertson sued for wrongful termination in June, saying she was fired for investigating sexual harassment claims against Rogers. Rogers's mother takes Robertson's job.
- In July, Eric Maundu sues for unpaid compensation.
- In September, former Pay By Touch head of sales Jon Siegal sues for Security Fraud and alerts investors to Rogers's past behavior: threatening an old girlfriend ("I'll fucking mess you up"), doing coke at the office, skipping meetings, destroying property, and writing "crude and profane" emails. Siegal sues again, claiming Rogers fired him to cover up lies to investors and a failure to pay wages.
These cases will no doubt drag on for months, if not years. But the market is making a speedier judgment: This is, by all appearances, a failed company. Send us more evidence to make the case.