Gearbox CEO allegedly lost $3 million to a con artist who has disappeared

Gearbox CEO and president Randy Pitchford is among the victims of a con artist who is currently at large after allegedly embezzling millions from Pitchford and his wife, Kristy Pitchford.

John Wright Martin (pictured above) worked as a personal assistant to the Pitchfords starting in 2014. Kristy Pitchford is the owner of the Nerdvana Frisco, a restaurant and coffee shop, and Martin allegedly had access to the couple’s business credit card. Over the course of two years, the Pitchfords say Martin spent up to $3 million on their accounts, making lavish donations to charity and purchasing a $591,000 home in one of Frisco’s expensive neighborhoods, according to Dallas News.

The Dallas News report, which Polygon highlighted Sunday, details Martin’s history of arrests for writing bad cheques and drunk driving, as well as his champagne taste: He liked designer clothes, threw huge parties, and took his friends on extravagant trips to Europe, all using money he didn’t have. The Pitchfords had hired him for an annual salary of $45,000, but he left the job in 2016 to launch his own interior design company.

Martin was never an employee of Gearbox Software, and the company’s finances have not been affected by his theft from the Pitchfords.

Last year, the Pitchfords filed charges in the Collins County court, and Martin was charged with theft and forgery – according to Frisco police, he forged Kristy Pitchford’s name on at least seven cheques. The Pitchfords had gotten a notice from their bank that their accounts wouldn’t cover their payroll (at Nerdvana), and that led them to contact Martin.

Martin signed an agreement with the Pitchfords to repay them, but that repayment never happened. At one point he wrote the couple a check for $598,000, but it bounced.

Randy Pitchford estimates that he and Kristy lost $3 million to Martin, who is currently at large and sought by police on multiple arrest warrants, including for failure to appear at an August 28 court date, and for bouncing a $76,971 cheque for a Cadillac Escalade.

“He didn’t destroy us,” Randy Pitchford told Dallas News. But he worries for whoever is next in Martin’s path.

Top image credit: John Wright Martin Building + Interiors