[Update] Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford Accused of Embezzlement; Gearbox Calls Accusations 'Absurd'

Published: January 11, 2019 4:56 PM /



[Update] Randy Pitchford has apparently spoken about the alleged missing USB drive previously.

Website Ars Technica published an article on the lawsuits, but was able to uncover Pitchford's appearance on, The Piff Pod, a podcast by content creator Piff the Magic Dragon, to discuss his love for magic.

On the December 22nd episode, a day after the filed lawsuit by Callender, Pitchford discusses the lost USB, along with a lengthy discussion over his pornographic tastes, which includes 'camgirl' pronography.

According to Pitchford, he was a "consumer of this content." and confirmed that he copied a specific video to the USB to "work out the method" of how a camgirl host faked the act of female ejaculation.

"This is not a sex worker," he said on the podcast. "This is a fucking magician."

The memory stick was lost in a Medieval Times, where he said "Some kid, an employee of Medieval Times, discovered this memory stick, took it home...and discovered secrets of my company and future games in development, and also discovered the pornography. It was 'barely legal' porn. This girl's handle was 'Only 18.'"

The USB was apparently returned by the employee, who received 'swag' and video games from the company for finding the USB. Pitchford then admitted that his executive assistant checked its contents, as he was on a business trip at the time.

"Before I know it, I think the entire office looked at it. And there was one piece of content on here. And it never occured to any of them that the reason why there was just that single porno was because of the magic trick, not because of [pause] I don't know whatever the fuck they thought."

Pitchford took to twitter to express his innocence to the allegations.

"As a father, I find crimes against children to be especially repugnant. It is very painful that a former friend and colleague would lie to try to associate me with such vile behavior in his own greedy pursuit of money."

"As the day progresses, I am discovering who my my friends are. Thank you for your love and support." he wrote some time later.

Gearbox has also responded viciously towards Callender, which was posted on Kotaku in a recent update.

Gearbox will be filing a grievance with the State Bar of Texas against our former general counsel Wade for disciplinary proceedings for filing a lawsuit that includes accusations that he knows to be untrue. The lawyer’s rules of professional conduct expressly prohibit the filing of documents that are knowingly false. The tell is within Wade’s claim itself – his use of hedged lawyer language and clever application of quotation marks betray that he knows that the impression he is trying to create is based in lies. We imagine that he used the quotation marks and lawyer language in hopes that will give him some angles of defense when we inevitably take action against him for false statements. Wade is engaged in a shakedown and he’s clearly using deceit and lies to try to cause damage by promoting a narrative that he knows is false.
[Original Story] Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford is once again in the crosshairs of controversy, this time due to accusations made by the former company Lawyer over the embezzlement of funds from the company itself.

Wade Callender, who served as Gearbox's lawyer between 2010 to 2018, filed a lawsuit on December 21st, 2018, accusing Pitchford for violating his legal duties towards the company.

Callender already has a pending lawsuit filed against him by Gearbox, filed a month prior to his suit for fraud, claiming that he borrowed money from Gearbox for a home loan and tuition that was not paid back in full. Callender was also accused of destroying evidence of the home loan agreement made with Gearbox, as well as abusing the companies accounts for personal expenses including "family vacations, gun club memberships and firearms accessories, and trying to get six-pack abs."

The suit against Pitchford claims that Pitchford struck a deal with publisher Take-Two interactive to receive a "personal, secretive 'Executive Bonus' of $12,000,000 to be paid directly to Pitchford entity called 'Pitchford Entertainment Media Magic, LLC.'" According to Callender, the executive bonus was an advance upon the royalties towards the Borderlands series, that would normally go towards the Gearbox staff.

"This is particularly tragic exploitation,” the lawsuit states, “because these millions are being syphoned to Randy Pitchford’s personal accounts instead of funding the development of Borderlands.”

Other allegations were also levied towards Pitchforld, including an accusation that Pitchford would hold parties for adult men who "have reportedly exposed themselves to minors, to the amusement of Randy Pitchford," and reference towards a USB drive left in a Dallas, Texas restaurant that allegedly contained sensitive corporate documents for Gearbox and its partners, such as 2K Games, Sony, Sega and others, as well as Pitchford's "personal collection of 'underage' pornography."

Both Callender and Pitchford were longtime friends, whose relationship fell apart about two years ago. At one point, Callender is believed to have been made a partner, along with Pitchford and Gearbox Co-founder Stephen Bahl, in a Limited Liability Company called The Hatch, LLC, and eventually a position in Gearbox's "cabinet," a seven-man management group that would see each member be given instant job security and a percentage of the net profits of the studio.

A Gearbox representative responded to Callender's lawsuit, stating “The allegations made by a disgruntled former employee are absurd, with no basis in reality or law. We look forward to addressing this meritless lawsuit in court and have no further comment at this time.”

Both lawsuits can be found in document form on Kotaku, or clicking the following links:

Callender Lawsuit   Gearbox's Lawsuit

What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe these accusations to be true? Leave your comments below. 

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