Jul 13, 2016 ยท 3 minutes

Look, it's my own fault.

I should have been clearer. 

Last month I asked Pando investor Shervin Pishevar for a favor: Would he (and other Pando investors like Peter Thiel) please stop palling around with murderous despots? 

My request was prompted by Pishevar's boast that he'd had a super-fun meeting with Vladamir Putin, during which the Russian leader had praised his work on the Hyperloop and Uber. 

Just take a second to let that sink in. Pishevar is actually boasting that, not only did he sit down with Vladamir Putin, but the fucking psycho strongman actually declared himself a fan. "OMGYOUGUYS Putin  totally called on me for the last word and then totally responded and said he loves my work!" (Perhaps after the dinner they also discussed Putin's own claims to fame: throwing gay people in jail, murdering and beating his opponents, spying on his own citizens and once ordering the slow, painful murder by polonium of one of his critics, journalist Alexander Litvinenko. That last one being, admittedly, a very Uber thing to do.)

Now. When I asked Pishevar to cut the PDA with Putin I guess I meant to imply that he and other Hyperloop execs should stop doing awful things, full stop. That category would also include things like, I dunno "misusing funds, breaching their fiduciary duties and conspiring to augment their personal brands, enhance their romantic lives, and line their pockets (and those of family members)."

Oh, and it definitely included threatening their colleagues with nooses. 

The noose thing is pretty important. Should have specifically included that one.


So, yes, obviously I wasn't clear enough, because yesterday it was revealed that Pishevar's erstwhile business partner -- a man with the glorious name Brogan BamBrogan - has filed a restraining order and a lawsuit against Pishevar and other Hyperloop executives.


Hyperloop One, the ultra high-speed transportation system conceived by Elon Musk, is being sued by a co-founder and former employees, who claim the company's top leaders have misused funds, breached their fiduciary duties and conspired "to augment their personal brands, enhance their romantic lives, and line their pockets (and those of family members)."

Among BamBrogan's most explosive claims are that Pishevar started dating the company's outside public relations representative and increased her pay to $40,000 a month, from $15,000 a month, more than any employee...

The topic of internal strife was raised at a dinner between Shervin Pishevar and some Russian investors in Moscow on June 14, an event that BamBrogan was supposed to attend but didn't so he could stay home and work on "critical issues facing the company," the complaint says. 

Hours after the dinner, according to the suit, Shervin's brother Afshin placed a noose on BamBrogan's chair. It was caught on Hyperloop's security cameras.

Yeah, I knew I should have specifically asked them not to carry nooses around. It's just asking for trouble for your company's general counsel (as Pishevar's brother is) to do that.

Now, it's important to note (CCTV footage notwithstanding) that none of BamBrogan's claims have yet been proven in a court of law. A Hyperloop spokesperson (presumably not the one accused of being Pishevar's overpaid girlfriend) described the claims as "delusional" and accused BamBrogan of attempting to stage a (failed) coup. 

There is, of course, no reason to believe that Uber investors, defenders and close friends of Travis Kalanick who are also chums with Vladamir Putin might possibly be capable of acting like such gigantic douches.

No doubt the facts will become clearer in coming weeks. And I plan to spend those weeks working on my proposal for a Hyperloop-themed version of the boardgame Clue ("Afshin, with the noose, in the boardroom!") and trying to find a more tech bro name than "Brogan BamBrogan".

But, in the meantime, please please please Pando investors, stop doing fucking horrible things. At all.