FBI investigating Ozy co-founder Samir Rao amid YouTube allegations

The co-founder of Ozy Media is accused of impersonating a YouTube government on a convention name that offered rosier-than-reality statistics on the company’s attain — and now the FBI is investigating, in line with a brand new report.

Samir Rao, the co-founder and COO of the digital media company, allegedly pretended to be Alex Piper, the pinnacle of unscripted programming for YouTube Originals, on a name with a staff from Goldman Sachs in February, the New York Times reported Sunday.

Goldman Sachs was closing in on a $40 million funding in Ozy this previous winter.

Piper was anticipated to supply particulars on Ozy’s success on YouTube on a Zoom meeting however when he was late, he requested that or not it’s moved to a convention name, the paper reported, citing 4 individuals who had been briefed on the meeting.

As the decision went on, although, the Goldman buyers seen that Piper’s voice sounded unusual and “might have been digitally altered,” the Times reported.

So the staff from Goldman reached out to Piper’s assistant at YouTube solely to seek out that he had by no means been on the decision, in line with the Times.

Alex Piper is the precise head of unscripted programming for YouTube Originals.

After the difficulty was raised, YouTube’s safety staff began investigating and inside days, Carlos Watson, co-founder and CEO of Ozy, apologized to Goldman and mentioned the impersonator on the decision was Rao, the Times reported.

Watson reportedly attributed the incident to Rao’s psychological well being disaster he was grappling with on the time.

“Samir is a valued colleague and a close friend,” Watson mentioned in a press release to the Times. “I’m proud that we stood by him while he struggled, and we’re all glad to see him now thriving again.”

Rao, who took break day after the incident, is now again at Ozy, the report mentioned.

Marc Lasry, a hedge fund supervisor and chairman of Ozy’s board of administrators, advised the Times that “the board was made aware of the incident, and we fully support the way it was handled.”

It was an “unfortunate one-time event,” he reportedly added.

While Ozy’s board appeared settled with the matter, Google, YouTube’s dad or mum company, tasked its safety with an additional investigation, the Times added.

Ozy Fest.
Ozy co-founder Carlos Watson reportedly attributed the impersonation incident to Samir Rao’s psychological well being disaster he was grappling with on the time.
Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media

Google alerted the FBI to the matter, two folks with information of the matter advised the Times, and federal legislation enforcement officers then contacted Goldman Sachs, one individual with information of that inquiry mentioned.

Watson advised the Times that Ozy has not been contacted by investigators, and the FBI wouldn’t verify nor deny the existence of an investigation.

Representatives for Ozy, Google and Goldman didn’t instantly return The Post’s request for remark.

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