Peter Theil’s capital firm, Mithril Capital is alleged to be under investigation by the FBI, but according to Mithril they have not been contacted by the FBI. Theil co-founded the firm with Ajay Royan who runs the day-to-day operations of the firm. The Los Angeles Times reports that the FBI is apparently questioning employees who have left the Austin-based firm, after a complaint was filed with the FBI by a former employee. A spokesperson for Mithril slammed the FBI’s investigation as a”foiled plot by a self-serving ex-employee.” According to ZeroHedge, Theil is a supporter of President Trump.
According to the rawstory.com internal problems have threatened the firm. Several employees and two managing directors have left the firm and the operation has been reduced to “bare bones.” At one point Royan repossessed some of his staff’s phones and computers to search for leakers. The FBI out of San Francisco is reportedly questioning ex-employees. The FBI had no comment on the investigation according to Vox.com.
The complaints reportedly center around the lack of investments made by Mithril. According to Vox, the firm invested only $90 million of the initial start-up investment of $740 million in April 2016, but Mithril collects $20 million a year in management fees.
Cambridge Associates (of Silicon Valley) is investigating Mithril over allegations of mismanagement. The firm’s clients have invested millions with the Mithril fund at the behest of Cambridge Associates. Cambridge Associates is an outside investment firm which advises wealthy families and foundations.
The MacArthur Foundation and Temasek have expressed to Thiel and Royan their concerns about the investigations surrounding Royan’s lack of investments, but other investors are sympathetic to Royan’s conservative investment strategy.
As this matter evolves, it remains to be seen whether or not the complaints will be borne out in any legal cases.