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Better.com CEO Vishal Garg is facing backlash over his decision to announce the firing of 900 workers during an impromptu Zoom call, as it’s revealed the entrepreneur has a history of questionable business practices.
Garg, who was born in India and raised in Queens, New York, made his money by starting up a private student loans company while studying at New York University, eventually selling MyRichUncle to investment bank Merrill Lynch before the company was forced to file for bankruptcy amid the 2008 financial crisis.
The businessman and his partner, Raza Khan, went on to establish EIFC, a company that used algorithm technology to allow customers to identify whether banks had issued them with predatory loans. However, in 2013 Khan sued Garg, claiming that his business partner had been failing to pay taxes and had also siphoned off $3 million in company funds to his own bank account.
According to The Independent, Garg responded by accusing Khan of himself stealing $400,000, and was taped during a deposition in the case saying that he wanted to ‘staple him against a f***ing wall and burn him alive’.
Another mortgage investment scheme set up by Garg was also the subject of a lawsuit, with clients accusing the company of being ‘a fraudulent scheme… set up to fund the director defendants’ other ventures,’ including Better.com, per The Times.
Garg’s approach to laying off around 10% of his workforce shortly before Christmas also appears to be part of a pattern of questionable employee management, with the CEO last year sending a mass email to staff in which he lambasted them for being ‘a bunch of dumb dolphins’ who were ’embarrassing’ him by being ‘too damn slow’.
He was similarly scathing in his assessment of those workers he fired this week, writing in a blog post that they’re apparent lack of productivity was ‘stealing from you and stealing from our customers who pay the bills that pay our bills’.
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