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New York State Attorney General reportedly investigating WeWork

Catherine Shu
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 09: Adam Neumann speaks onstage during WeWork Presents Second Annual Creator Global Finals at Microsoft Theater on January 9, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for WeWork)

WeWork is reportedly being investigated by the New York State Attorney General. According to Reuters, the NYAG’s questions include if WeWork founder and former CEO Adam Neumann engaged in self-dealing.

WeWork is headquartered in New York City. A company spokesperson said in an email that "we have received an inquiry from the office of the New York State Attorney General and are cooperating in the matter." The New York State Attorney General's office had no comment.

This comes less than a week after Bloomberg reported WeWork is the subject of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into potential rule violations related to its cancelled IPO.

WeWork’s parent company, The We Company, announced on Sept. 30 that it was withdrawing its S-1 filing for an initial public offering, shortly after Neumann stepped down as CEO. In addition to questions about the company's financial state, red flags for investors included that Neumann had borrowed against his WeWork shares and leased properties he owned back to the company.

An entity Neumann controlled also sold the company the right to use the word “We” for $5.9 million, though he later asked the company to unwind the agreement and returned the money after public criticism.

After receiving a lifeline from investor SoftBank worth up to $8 billion, WeWork is now engaging in major cost-cutting measures, including layoffs at Meetup, which it acquired for $200 million in 2017.