Xapo Execs Sued by Former Employer for Contract Breach

Several Xapo executives including founder and CEO Wences Casares are being sued for alleged contract violations.

Jun 4, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:42 a.m. UTC

UPDATE (4th June 18:10 BST): The report has been updated with comment from Steven Ragland, the attorney representing Wences Casares.

Several Xapo executives including founder and CEO Wences Casares are being sued for alleged contract violations.

The suit, filed in August 2014 by online identity firm LifeLock, alleges breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty against Casares, president and general counsel Cindy McAdam, and founder and COO Federico Murrone.

Xapo employees Fabian Cuesta and Martin Apesteguia were also identified in the suit, according to a report by Fortune.

LifeLock purchased Lemon, a digital wallet platform, for $42.6m in December 2013. The defendants named in the suit were employees of Lemon at the time it was purchased.

According to the criminal complaint filed by LifeLock, the software underpinning Xapo, as well as related intellectual property, was "developed by Lemon's employees, in Lemon's facilities, on Lemon's computers, and on Lemon's dime."

Lemon alleged that it later learned that Xapo's employees included the aforementioned defendants following the publication of a New York Times article on 14 March last year.

The complaint noted:

"Defendants had not stated the true nature of their relationship with Xapo or the nature and extent of their roles within Xapo (including the extensive design, programming, and other development work that they and other Lemon employees performed), despite the fiduciary duties they owned to Lemon."

Lemon is seeking damages and remedies has requested a trial by jury.

Following the publication of this article, CoinDesk was contacted by attorney Steven Ragland, who is representing Casares in the lawsuit. In a statement, he called the allegations "baseless", arguing:

"LifeLock has no right to any Bitcoin related business or IP that Wences Casares or his colleagues may have worked on during their time at Lemon or after. As LifeLock's President has attested in a legally binding document, LifeLock does not have any right, claim or interest to any Bitcoin IP. LifeLock's claims lack merit and we look forward to proving their allegations false."

The full complaint can be found below:


The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.