The CEO of Australia-based firm Wisr has been sacked for stalking a female employee who threatened to leak their secret affair to his wife.
Anthony Nantes, the former boss of the financial technology company, pleaded guilty to stalking a female employee at the business between December 2022 and March 2023
According to the court case, Nantes harassed the unnamed employee, sending her numerous emails, nasty messages and turning up unannounced at her house.
The case explained
The harassment started when an affair began between Nantes and the employee in 2019.
The secret romance reportedly lasted for three years before it began to fall apart in December 2022 when the employee felt Nantes was messaging her too much, and so threatened to expose their affair to his wife, Cassi, who he'd married three years earlier and with whom he has three children.
Reportedly, the finance boss threatened to take legal action against the employee, saying that she was attempting to blackmail him.
Court documents also state that on one occasion, Nantes turned up to the employee’s home and a heated argument broke out between the pair. The female employee reportedly asked Nantes to leave and he refused, eventually giving into her wishes and leaving the property.
Weeks later, Nantes sent the worker over 50 emails in one day and sent a small amount of money to her bank account with a description that read: “Liar, and you should be ashamed to be so cruel to me over and over again.”
After this, the plaintiff said that on one occasion she spotted Nantes outside her home – he then followed her down the street and begged her to speak to him. The employee had to take refuge in a nearby restaurant and a worker at the establishment had to ask Nantes to leave, court documents revealed.
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Wisr announced on August 16, four months after this altercation, but a few days before his arrest, that Nantes would be stepping down as CEO of the company, and replaced by the firm’s chief financial officer, Andrew Goodwin.
However, the company said his termination wasn’t necessarily related to the affair. In a statement it said: “The Wisr board had formed the view over recent months that Anthony was unable to perform the role of CEO to the level required by the board and as such the board took action in terminating his employment agreement.”
Nantes founded the non-bank lender in 2018, and the company went on to gain much success – it's currently with a market value of $36million (£18.7million).
A restraining order is in place, stopping Nantes from contacting or stalking the employee for two years, and he is set to be sentenced on the 10 January 2024, where the maximum penalty for stalking is two years in prison or a $5500 (£2858) fine.
There are no specific laws preventing or governing relationships in the workplace, however the above story indicates how these relationships can pose various legal and practical challenges for employers.