Ex-Ignite Chief Says He Got Fired for Curbing Bilzerian’s Bills

Curtis Heffernan, a former president of Dan Bilzerian’s Ignite International Brands Ltd., sued the company claiming he was fired in June after refusing to approve his bosses’ extravagant expenditures.

Heffernan, a former Procter & Gamble executive, claims he called Bilzerian on expenses that included $15,000 for a ping pong table, $40,000 for a rock-climbing wall and $130,340 on a Bahamian photo shoot.

Heffernan also claims in the lawsuit that Ignite asked him to mischaracterize a loan from the government’s conronavirus aid program as income. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in state court in Los Angeles, according to the employment law firm Workplace Justice Advocates which provided a copy. The filing couldn’t be immediately confirmed on the court’s website.

A June report by the company’s auditors flagged expenses that were unusually large or appeared to be personal in nature, including an Ignite payment of 50% of 703,000 euros ($793,000) for a yacht rental, 102,000 pounds ($128,000) for a two-night stay in London and Instacart deliveries of razors, trash bags and laundry detergent, according to the lawsuit.

Bilzerian, the son of the felonious former takeover artist Paul Bilzerian, has been trying to build a lifestyle brand around his social media following. The so-called King of Instagram has tens of millions of fans who follow his posts, which historically have involved wild parties, exotic locales and scantily clad women. Paul Bilzerian was involved in management meetings at the company, according to the complaint.

Ignite did not return a request for comment.

The Canada-based company sells everything from pre-rolled marijuana joints to energy drinks under the Ignite brand.

The company lost $69 million on sales of $9.7 million last year, according to its annual report.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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