The court filing argued that Höptner’s termination was “wholly wrongful and without basis.”
Former BitMEX Chief Alexander Höptner has sued his former employer for $3.4 million for breach of agreement and wrongful termination. This includes $2.4 million for his second-year bonus and smaller amounts for remaining wages, relocation expenses, and housing.
The claim, filed by Höptner’s legal representatives – Kelvin Chia Partnership – with Singapore’s High Court, alleges BitMEX of conducting a “baseless” internal investigation against him to avoid payment of salaries and bonuses.
The investigation in question is centered primarily around his several relocations to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Germany.
The ousted CEO said that he was accused of misappropriating company funds. The filing stated,
“There were no objections and/or concerns raised as to the Claimant’s relocation and/or the costs that was to be incurred by the HDR Group in respect of the same.”
However, Höptner was informed by BitMEX that the company might not pay his second-year bonus or reimburse for his relocation as a result of an “extensive cost-cutting and restructuring program that involved numerous layoffs.”
However, BitMEX co-founders Arthur Hayes and Samuel Reed allegedly launched an investigation into his expenses in late September, according to the court filing.
The following month, the derivatives platform informed the exec of his termination in a letter citing the investigation accusing him of “dishonestly misappropriate some $230,000 of the Group’s funds to fund his personal and unauthorized relocation from Hong Kong to Germany.”
These allegations barred Höptner from being entitled to any further payments.
It was earlier reported that the exec stepped down as the CEO less than two years after replacing Hayes. His role was later filled in by Stephan Lutz.
CryptoPotato received commentary on behalf of the former executive:
After being brought on board in late 2020, in partnership with my executive team and the board, I developed an aggressive strategy to scale and diversify the company. We were very much on track, which made the actions of the founders even more confusing to me. I honestly think that no matter how well my team and I delivered, the founders would have always found a way to reinsert themselves into the day-to-day operations of the company.
At the direction of the founders and the board, I put my life on hold to relocate multiple times as required by the company. I’m disappointed that it has gotten to the point that legal proceedings are necessary, but I’ve been left with no choice.
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