Adam Levine is a former employee of The Change Company (Change) who has made numerous threats and allegations against the Company and its employees since March 2023. Because Change has received several inquiries about Levine’s actions, it provides this statement for the benefit of its partners and counterparties. Neither Change nor any of its current Officers or Directors have any on-going affiliation with Levine.
Adam Levine’s Arrest
Levine was arrested on the afternoon of August 24, 2023.
Change understands that Levine is being charged, initially, with the Impersonation of a Police Officer, and the investigation into Levine’s conduct is on-going. Change expects Levine’s arraignment to occur the week of August 28, 2023. Impersonating a Police Officer in California carries a penalty of up to one year in jail. Levine was released from jail after posting bail of $100,000.00. While the existing charge is unrelated to Change, employees of the Company are cooperating with the investigation given common and over lapping fact patterns and an outstanding workplace violence restraining order against Levine that relates to employees of Change.
Adam Levine’s Threats and Allegations Against the Company
On March 2, 2023, Levine was placed on leave by Change due to allegations of serious and ongoing workplace misconduct by fellow employees. Change hired a third-party law firm to investigate these allegations of misconduct leveled against Levine, as well as to investigate allegations of misconduct made by Levine relating to Change, which Levine made only after he was placed on leave. The investigation was conducted by a law firm with no prior relationship with Change or its Officers or Directors. The investigation found the allegations made against Levine were supported by a preponderance of the evidence, while the allegations made by Levine were unsubstantiated. Some of Levine’s alleged wrongdoing at Change has been made public in Court filings supported by sworn declarations. These sworn declarations allege the following examples of misconduct:
- Levine referred to Hispanic/Latino workers in the office as “monkeys” resulting in a confrontation with a Hispanic/Latino co-worker.
- Levine referred to Black members of the Company’s Community Advisory Board in racist and derogatory terms.
- Levine showed up at the house of a female direct report on a weekend and refused to leave when asked.
Up until Levine was placed on leave on March 2, 2023, there did not exist any whistleblower allegations by Levine relating to the Company’s loans, securitizations, reporting, or leadership. In fact, Levine had extremely positive things to say about senior leadership, including the Founder and CEO of Change, Steven Sugarman. The day before the Company placed Levine on leave, Levine sent text messages to Steven Sugarman stating, “I admire and respect you more today that I did exactly two years ago when I officially joined TCC.” Levine also spoke of how just the prior day he was, “the most proud of you [Sugarman] I have ever been.” His praise was so effusive that Levine sent a final text message reassuring Sugarman that he was, “Being sincere and not a wiseass.”
Levine’s Extortionate Demands Against the Company
After being put on leave because of his misconduct, Levine began threatening the Company and several of its employees. Levine also began threatening to go to regulators, the press, and others unless Change paid him over $6 million (the sum he claimed to have been paid by a prior employer for his silence). Since then, Levine has upped his demands to over $10million and threatened to, “burn the place down” if he was not paid and texting that if he was not paid what he demanded he would collect the money, “via other means.” Levine went so far as to lay out for one investor his five-step plan threatening to go to regulators and the media if he was not paid off.
The Workplace Violence Restraining Order against Levine
On April 21, 2023, the Superior Court of Los Angeles issued a Workplace Violence Restraining Order (WVRO) against Levine for threats of violence he had made against Change’s Founder Steven Sugarman, General Counsel, Alan Lindeke, and a female employee who reported to Levine (see Exhibit A). The allegations that resulted in the WVRO included threats of violence, breaking into Company facilities, and showing up at a female employee’s home on a Sunday morning, acting in a threatening manner, and refusing to leave. Additionally, Levine has threatened the security guards Change hired to protect its office and employees from Levine’s threats. This is evidenced by a video of Levine (below) taken by the security guards wherein Levine becomes very agitated and makes claims that he owns a gun, has a concealed carry license, and suggests he is not in uniform because he is wearing his “dress blues.” We are not aware of Levine ever serving in the military or as a police officer. We are also unaware of Levine ever having a concealed carry permit.
Levine is alleged to have breached the WVRO numerous times including by following employees to and from work and by surveilling their office (as demonstrated in the pictures below).
Consistent with the arrest of Levine for impersonating a Police Officer, Change has been advised that Levine has been approaching employees of Change wearing items labelled “U.S. Marshal” and Change employees have disclosed that Levine has a “police-style” badge.
History of Threats and Allegations Against Prior Employers
It is our understanding that Levine has also been accused of threatening and illegal conduct by some of his prior employers. This includes allegations of misconduct by Levine while he was working for former employers such as Texas Pacific Group (TPG) and Hardball with Chris Matthews. In each instance, Change has reason to believe that Levine had planted stories, and continues to plant stories, with various media outlets to smear his former employers. Levine has also previously been accused of stealing confidential company information, violating various Non-Disclosure Agreements, and violating the Company’s Attorney-Client Privilege. Each of which Levine has engaged in with respect to Change.
Continuing False Statements and Harassment by Levine
Change remains concerned about Levine’s ongoing erratic and threatening behavior. Levine has threatened to make allegations of wrong doing or to publicly make embarrassing claims against a majority of Change’s Board of Directors, several members of Change’s executive team, and some of Change’s third-party lawyers, investors, and employee’s relatives – amongst others. Change is disappointed that Levine’s media friends appear to be enabling him in what is believed to be his attempts to spread misinformation and engage in extortion.
Following his arrest, Levine has made false claims that somehow Change’s leadership was able to “pull strings” with the Los Angeles Police Department and the Superior Court of Los Angeles to cause Levine’s arrest. Levine has also claimed that both (i) his arrest for Impersonating a Police Officer, and (ii) the issuance of a WVRO by the Superior Court of Los Angeles are forms of retaliation against him by Change. Levine has also claimed that Change’s hiring of security guards to protect its employees who allege that they are being threatened by him is a form of retaliation.
Levine’s rants include recent claims that: (i) Change has over $8 billion a year in revenue (we wish); (ii) Change and its Founder are responsible for Levine’s arrest; and (iii) that someone was faking cancer and chemotherapy to garner sympathy (a formal complaint Levine made to HR). The claims Levine has made in a lawsuit he filed against Change are also false. Levine did not verify his complaint (a process by which he declares the allegations true under penalty of perjury). Change has reviewed every claim made by Levine and denies each allegation.
Change believes that Levine has a practice of manipulating and mischaracterizing documents and providing false information about conversations, events, and people.
Change understands that Levine continues to harass Change’s current and former employees, including over social media. Levine maintains his own social media accounts and also manages anonymous “burner” accounts. Levine has admitted to his role in setting up and using an “anonymous” account that he set up using disposable “burner” phones and untraceable email addresses.
Given the outstanding criminal charges and contempt of court allegations against Levine, and Levine’s clearly troubled state of mind, Change will not be commenting on each new allegation Levine makes. Change will provide updates as appropriate. Change hopes that this information enables you to evaluate Levine’s existing and future allegations in proper context.