When toxic people cannot control you, they try to control how others see you.
My weak spot has always been spreadsheets, so when I needed to prepare my startups five year financial projections, I reached out to my Linkedin network connections to ask for advice and very few people had the time.
One person who did have time though was Jason Currill.
Jason assured me that he had taken multiple companies through multiple rounds of finance, he assured me that he was experienced at putting together financial projections and even better, he was friends with the CEO of a very prestigious company who is a prolific tech startup investor and would invest.
Not only could he help us prepare our financial projections, he could also quickly bring us investment quickly from a very credible source. Perfect I thought and so we started working with him, he seemed like the sort of person we needed to help us drive our business forward.
Of course it was too good to be true.
Two weeks later, it became clear that he had no idea about companies raising finance and after a couple of conference calls with the prestigious company he said he could persuade to invest in us, it was clear he did not know them at all.
After conversations about the financial projections he prepared (he had only prepared two years when we needed five years), it became clear that he did not really have a good grasp of either excel nor financial projections.
The arguments started I told Jason that I was going to get our financials validated by one of my contacts, a deeply experienced CFO and owner of a very popular SaaS financials website who agreed to take a look at them.
To my co-founder and I, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to do, especially as we were having doubts about our ‘advisor’ and especially as we were the ones who were giving up equity based on these financials.
Jason hated the idea, we could tell right from the first time we told him.
Jason insisted that this guy (a prominent Silicon Valley CFO) was only after our equity and that of course he would say our financials are rubbish.
I sent the financials and my friend emailed back to tell me that he recognized the template, it turns out Jason had googled ‘SaaS financial template’ and downloaded the first result and the simplest one he could find.
It was obviously the same template, Jason had not even bothered to change any item fields on the template, or adapt it to our business.
This was the last straw for my partner and I really, it was clear to us that our ‘advisor’ was not what he said he was, did not have the contacts that he said he did and even worse, was hostile to us validating his shoddy financials.
It was clear that this guy had nothing to offer our business and it was towards the end of his third week working with us when we realized Jason was am aggressive confidence trickster and so I fired him during his trial period.
That was when the trouble started.
A short while later we learned that Jason was trying to raise finance and loans from random sources and so I checked his Linkedin profile and discovered that he had listed himself as an employee. He also listed himself as our advisor of two years, both positions a total fabrication and this was after firing him.
Naturally I wrote to him nicely asking him to remove the positions and pointing out that they were both untrue and I also asked him to stop misrepresenting himself as an employee of our company to others.
He ignored my email and decided to respond by sending my co-founder and I huge ranting emails about how I was unfit to be a founder and how he has a fiduciary duty to file an official complaint about me, to us.
A week later we learned that he was still representing himself to others as an employee, asking people for finance in another country where we had no intention of raising finance or operating and so we reported him to the police.
We spoke to the National Fraud and Cybercrime Unit who advised us to file a charge of fraudulent representation and issued us a crime number, they also advised us to warn others on our social media channels about Jason.
I informed Jason that I had reported him to the police and again asked him to stop what he was doing and that was when he became really nasty, he started to get abusive and threaten to destroy our business because ‘karma is a bitch’.
He started sending crazy long emails about me smoking weed and behaved in a generally shameful way, he set out for revenge.
Turns out he discovered some old blog posts of mine in the internet archives that I wrote about marijuana legalization and has decided to tell the world about my weed smoking crimes because it makes me ‘unfit to be a founder’.
It struck us as totally psychopathic behavior and we could not believe that a 45 year old man was behaving in such a petty and vindictive way, and after more threats against our business we reported him to the police again, who issued us a second crime number, the basis for future legal action.
Now Jason Currill has two criminal charges filed against him, one for fraudulent representation and another for harassment and threatening behavior, and it still does not appear to have deterred him.
He is still on Twitter with a fake troll account telling everyone he can about how I am a weed smoker, not seeming to realize its legal where I live and that nobody really cares.
I plan to write a nice letter to his father Colin and sister Emma about his behavior, I hope they get him to see sense, ultimately Jason has absolutely no reason at all to behave so shamefully, being fired is no excuse.
We owe this man nothing and he reacted to being fired like a psychopath on a revenge mission.
So this is a warning to all of you out entrepreneurs out there who reach out to others for help, be careful who you work with, some of them are psychos.
I do think it is important that others know about Jasons behavior, I also think that when you find yourself in a place where you are actively trying to damage someone else’s hard work, you need to seriously re-evaluate your life choices.
Jason Currill : Disgruntled Ex-Employee was originally published in CONTЯATASTIC on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.