A Manhattan tech CEO blew through nearly half a million dollars in company money to fund a lavish lifestyle that include high-priced hookers for himself — and epic shopping sprees for his socialite wife, a new lawsuit charges.
Former iPayment CEO Carl Grimstad was so bold in fleecing the company he founded that he even put his favorite prostitute — and her mother — on the payroll at one point, the suit says. The company, which fired Grimstad in November, is suing him for reimbursement of $445,000 in expenses.
“Although the sordid details of his tenure as CEO of iPayment are still under investigation, it has now become clear that Grimstad used the company as a piggybank for himself and for his wife, Defendant Jessica ‘Gigi’ Grimstad,” the Manhattan Supreme Court suit says.
Grimstad, 49, and his socialite spouse’s “wasteful and lavish spending” included allegedly dropping $288,000 at the luxury Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side as they relocated from Nashville in 2011.
Four years earlier, Grimstad jetted out to Las Vegas with an iPayment employee and visited the Spearmint Rhino strip club. At the Sin City flesh emporium, Grimstad met a prostitute and offered her $4,000 for services at his hotel room, according to court papers.
The married dad was so infatuated that he hired her in 2008 to work for his company, “despite lacking any apparent qualifications” — and even brought her mom on as well, the suit says.
The escort was fired in 2012 and paid a $37,000 severance, according to court papers.
Meanwhile, Grimstad allegedly billed the company for his wife’s $70,000 shopping spree at Bergdorf Goodman and paid her interior design firm $60,000.
The suit says Gigi Grimstad is a “bit player on the New York social scene, having been transplanted from Nashville to New York.”
He also charged $10,000 in clothing for the family’s personal bodyguard, $1,800 for entertainment at the members-only Core Club, and $13,000 in medical expenses, the suit says.
Grimstad’s attorney, Marc Kasowitz, said “these allegations were made by a terminated employee, investigated and found to be false.
“Those bringing this lawsuit either know or should have known this. Carl was not terminated for cause.”
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