- Bradley Nagela, former global head of operations at B2C2, said he was fired after reporting the crypto market maker’s former co-CEO for taking illegal drugs.
- Nagela’s complaint alleges that former co-CEO Philip Gillespie was seen taking illegal narcotics at Bitcoin Miami in 2022.
- B2C2 says Nagela was terminated following a period of underperformance.
A former employee at crypto market-maker B2C2 claims he was fired after calling out an executive’s drug-induced behaviour at the Bitcoin Miami Conference in 2022.
Bradley Nagela, former global head of operations at the company, filed a whistleblower suit in New Jersey claiming was fired after telling his supervisor about then co-CEO Philip Gillespie’s behaviour.
Gillespie “allegedly was publicly observed drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and taking cocaine and hallucinogens,” according to a lawsuit filed on September 1.
The former co-CEO, who left the firm at the end of 2022, was also “gifting and distributing cocaine and hallucinogens to others — including but not limited to, a 19-year-old female attendee,” Nagela said in the lawsuit.
Nagela’s “complaints and protestations, and his unwillingness to remain silent” resulted in the company retaliating and terminating his employment, the suit claimed.
B2C2 told DL News that Nagela was fired for performance reasons, and said it is confident it can win in court.
“Mr Nagela’s position at B2C2 was terminated in September 2022 following a period of significant underperformance as global head of options trading – Americas,” the statement said. “The company will produce detailed evidence to demonstrate this in court, but we’re unable to comment further whilst the matter is subject to court proceedings,” the firm’s statement read.
Nagela also alleged sexual harassment and gender discrimination on behalf of the intern, who he “reasonably believed may have viewed Gillespie’s attentions as both unwanted and unwelcome,” the suit said.
Current CEO Nicola White “opted to tolerate and turn a blind eye,” Nagela alleges.
The former employee told his supervisor, among others, that the behaviour “potentially could be viewed as forced coercion and/or human trafficking.”
The lawsuit claims the intern’s father complained that his 19-year-old daughter was invited. He was concerned that his daughter was “too young” and revealed that she lived in Thailand.
The father said, according to Nagela’s account in the suit, his daughter was scheduled to travel to Miami the following day and that he was “‘afraid’ that the invitation extended to his daughter was bogus,” and not truly on behalf of the company, but that it “was related to prostitution.”
Nagela’s suit alleges that B2C2 investigated the father’s email. Through its alleged investigation, the firm confirmed that Gillespie had arranged to fly the intern from her home in Bangkok to Miami so that she could accompany him to the 2022 Bitcoin Conference in Miami.
Nagela’s suit is against B2C2 and its CEO, Nicola White.
It makes claims of unlawful retaliation for engaging in activity protected under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and violation of the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act.
Nagela is seeking back pay, compensation, and punitive damages as well as legal costs.
Gillespie, who left the market maker in November 2022 several months after the conference, denied the claims made in the lawsuit in an emailed statement to DL News.
”I for one have never met him and have only had a few phone calls with him while I was at the firm,” Gillespie said, adding that most B2C2 employees had never met Nagela either.
“My understanding is that he is disgruntled after being let go for underperformance last year, which has resulted in these extreme accusations,” he added. Gillespie plans to pursue litigation actions due to the “slanderous claim” he said.
Bradley Nagela did not immediately return DL News’ requests for comment.
Bitcoin Miami conference organisers were not mentioned in the suit and are not accused of wrongdoing.
Update: This article has been updated to include comments from Philip Gillespie.
Adam Morgan McCarthy is DL News’ London-based Markets Correspondent. Got a tip? Reach out at email@example.com.