As Snapchat continues to prepare to go public, a former employee has come forward with alleged claims that the company has been faking its growth numbers in order to artificially boost its worth.
Variety reports that Anthony Pompliano, who until recently headed the company’s growth team, had filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Supreme Court after Snapchat fired him only three weeks into his tenure when he refused to go along with its fraudulent plans.
Pompliano previously held a similar position at nemesis Facebook. The lawsuit claims that in Pompliano’s own assessment, Snapchat hired him with the intent to obtain confidential and proprietary information from Facebook. Things, however, went awry when he refused.
“Snapchat’s leadership saw Mr. Pompliano as an impediment to their planned IPO because he refused to turn a blind eye to Snapchat’s misrepresentations,” the lawsuit claims.
On top of cutting Pompliano loose, his attorney David Michaels alleges Snapchat attempted to smear his reputation. “He’s had difficulty securing employment. It would be a red flag to an employer that you were there for three weeks and were terminated. We believe when they make the inquiry to Snapchat, they hear a bunch of lies.”
While much of the supposedly misrepresented metrics have been blacked out, Michaels said the information withheld is still pending a determination on whether it is covered by a confidentiality agreement, which means the information could eventually become public.
In addition to damages, the lawsuit seeks to bar Snapchat from harming Pompliano’s employment prospects. He’s also pursuing a wrongful termination claim through an arbitration process.
Snapchat spokesperson Mary Ritti has since responded to Pompliano’s claims, downplaying the merits of the lawsuit. “We’ve reviewed the complaint, [i]t has no merit. It is totally made up by a disgruntled former employee.”
You can find a copy of the lawsuit on Scribd.