Co-working space startup WeWork is being investigated by the office of the New York State Attorney General, Reuters reported on Monday.
The Attorney General Letitia James is looking into whether the startup’s former CEO and co-founder Adam Neumann engaged in self-dealing during his tenure at the company, people familiar with the probe told Reuters.
Neumann allegedly engaged in a number of illegal practices, including leasing his private property to WeWork, borrowing from the company at little to no interest, charging the company $6 million for the “We” trademark, and appointing family members to key positions.
A WeWork spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that they received an inquiry from the Attorney General’s office, without giving further details.
Treading Troubled Waters
The startup is facing another federal investigation based on a complaint filed by its former Chief of Staff, Medina Bardhi, in October.
Bardhi alleged gender and pregnancy discrimination by Neumann and other top management at the company.
According to a Bloomberg report on Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission has also launched an inquiry into whether WeWork flouted financial regulations ahead of its planned initial public offering in September.
The much-anticipated IPO was canceled as investors began to cast doubts over its business model, top leadership, and actual market value against the stated $47 billion.
Neumann stepped down from WeWork’s board after SoftBank acquisition, with a hefty payout of $1.7 billion.