Founder of Goldman Sachs-backed tech startup Slync charged with $67 million fraud
Christopher Kirchner, the founder of $240 logistics software startup Slync, was arrested at his home in Westlake on Tuesday morning, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of Texas.
Kirchner, 35, was charged with fraud by multiple federal agencies for selling $67 million in securities to investors and then using nearly half of the proceeds to buy a private jet and pay for other personal expenses to “live extravagantly while not paying Slync’s employees.”
In a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency accused Kirchner of fraudulently offering and selling more than $67 million of securities, of which he allegedly misappropriated more than $28 million for personal benefit. The SEC added that Kirchner transferred tens of millions of dollars from Slync accounts to his personal accounts until his termination in August 2022.
In another criminal charge, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) accused Kirchner of wire fraud and misappropriating $20 million from the company. If found guilty of the DOJ charges, Kirchner could face up to 20 years in prison.
“We allege that Kirchner lied about Slync’s business to secure tens of millions of dollars from investors, a massive portion of which he then stole from the company to live extravagantly while not paying Slync’s employees,” said Sheldon L. Pollock, Associate Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “The Enforcement Division remains laser-focused on uncovering and rooting out such brazen fraud and charging individuals who seek to induce investors to buy securities through lies and deception,” SEC said in a press statement.
The charges came after FBI agents raided Kirchner’s Texas mansion Tuesday morning, towing multiple luxury vehicles from the property. Kirchner made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hal R. Ray, Jr. later in the day. If found guilty of the DOJ charges, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
“This defendant flaunted his apparent wealth while allegedly diverting millions from company coffers into his private bank account,” said U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton in a statement. “Slync investors and employees are understandably outraged, and we sympathize.”
Slync was founded in 2017 by Christopher Kirchner and two other co-founders Raj Patel and Varun Dodla. Slync describes itself as “the innovator behind the first purpose-built orchestration platform for global shippers and logistics service providers that delivers higher productivity and process efficiency through intelligent automation.”