Ex-official said TPG partner might ‘smack’ his head into wall, lawsuit alleges
Friday, 03 April, 2015, 9:48pm
Reuters in New York
TPG Capital has been sued by its former head of public affairs, who accused the private equity giant of ignoring his warnings that the firm may have violated securities regulations and defrauded investors out of millions of dollars as a result.The whistle-blower lawsuit was filed on Thursday by Adam Levine, who had been an assistant White House press secretary under President George Bush in 2002-03 and then worked at TPG from 2008 until last year. Levine says he was asked to leave the firm by senior executives after he raised concerns about TPG’s conduct, according to his suit.
TPG, which has US$65 billion under management, said Levine’s assertions were “patently false and defamatory”.
“Levine’s lawsuit is nothing more than a meritless pleading designed to distract attention from Levine’s own egregious and illegal misconduct,” said Marc Kasowitz, a lawyer for TPG. He said Levine had stolen confidential information from TPG and tried to extort millions of dollars from the firm by threatening a media smear campaign.
TPG, co-founded in 1992 by chairman David Bonderman, sued Levine in January, accusing him of downloading confidential documents including an internal email about the firm’s billing process and leaking them to the media, as well as demanding a seven to eight-figure separation payment.
Levine said allegations that he breached confidentiality agreements were false. He claims he is owed compensation by TPG.
His suit alleges that TPG mis-billed expenses, was flouting compliance rules and gave inaccurate information about its investment team.
According to the filing, Levine said he raised concerns that TPG was engaged in practices that he believed “violated securities laws”, but was brushed off by its executives.
The suit alleges that TPG partner and senior counsel Clive Bode said if Levine were in the same room as him, he would “smack” Levine’s head into a wall and “knock some f***ing sense” into him.
Levine has contacted the US Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose the alleged violations of regulations at TPG, the suit claims.
Levine is bringing claims under federal and state whistle-blower laws, which created a private cause of action for whistle-blowers whose employers retaliate against them for lawfully providing information to the commission.