Facebook managers 'turned blind eye' to drug abuse

EXCLUSIVE: Silicon Valley’s shocking substance abuse: Facebook managers ‘turned blind eye’ if they thought it boosted productivity, insider claims, as killing of Cash App founder Bob Lee exposes hardcore drug-taking

  • Addiction specialist said hierarchy knew about drug-taking but chose to ignore
  • Dave Marlon said ‘severe substance abuse’ was considered a quirk of the sector
  • It comes after tech exec Lee’s murder was entangled in rumors of drug abuse 

Facebook managers turned a blind eye to substance abuse if they felt it boosted productivity, an insider has claimed, as Bob Lee’s killing shines a light on hardcore drug culture in Silicon Valley.

Dave Marlon, who founded one of the largest addiction recovery centers in the US and has worked with several Facebook employees, alleges that managers at the tech giant knew about workers taking drugs in the office but accepted it as part of the culture.

He told DailyMail.com that what he would describe as ‘severe substance abuse’ was referred to in the industry as the ‘quirks of being a tech employee’.

The stark reality of Silicon Valley’s drug problem have been tragically exposed by the brutal murder of Cash App founder Lee in San Francisco on April 4.

The millionaire, 43, was allegedly stabbed to death by the brother of his rumored lover following a confrontation over Lee’s reported drug-taking.

The brutal killing of Cash App founder Bob Lee has shone a light on drug abuse in Silicon Valley

It is alleged that Nima Momeni stabbed Lee to death after confronting him over whether he was getting his sister, Khazar Momeni, into drugs or ‘anything inappropriate’

Facebook managers turned a blind eye to substance abuse if they thought it aided productivity, an insider has claimed

A coroner’s report revealed Lee had ketamine, cocaine and alcohol in his system.

It has raised fresh questions over the tech sector’s cavalier approach to drugs and its fatal fallout.

Although Lee’s drug-taking did not directly cause his death, several other high-flying tech executives have previously come unstuck due to their unabated substance abuse.

Tony Hsieh, the former Zappos CEO, fell into a ketamine and nitrous oxide addiction that left him so delusional he barricaded himself in a shed and lit a fire that killed him in November 2020.

And Forrest Tim Hayes, a top Google executive, died after he was injected with heroin by a prostitute on his boat in 2013.

Marlon, who has treated hundreds of tech workers, claims that – in his experience – Silicon Valley giants were willing to turn a blind eye to drug-taking if they felt it was aiding productivity.

He alleged some were reluctant to get help for employees struggling with addiction for fear of creating a PR disaster should it be leaked to the public.

Marlon highlighted the tumult experienced by Google in the aftermath of Hayes’ death.

He added: ‘I’ve treated several Facebook employees. They talk about some of the same stuff, what I would call symptoms of severe substance abuse disorder, they may call quirks of being a tech employee.

‘It was acceptable for a big group of employees to use amphetamines, benzos and to abuse alcohol and it was part of the culture. It is more open than it would be in a traditional company.

‘I would say, yes, [the hierarchy were aware]. But this is how it is worded: ‘I am a prolific software developer and I have a prescription for Adderall. I work better when I use it, and three of my colleagues use it too, and we share it when they come by the bathroom.’

‘Managers know about this abuse and it is normalized. I think acceptable levels of behaviors are different in that industry, which hinders interventionists like myself who want to come in to help people who aren’t partying anymore.’

Tony Hsieh, the former Zappos CEO, fell into a ketamine and nitrous oxide addiction that left him so delusional he barricaded himself in a shed and lit a fire that killed him in 2020

Hsieh, who had amassed vast wealth selling shoe company Zappos to Amazon in a $1.2billion deal, died in a pool shed in New London, Connecticut (on the right)

A report by the fire marshal found that Hsieh had lit candles, a propane heater, whippet nitrous oxide chargers, whip cream dispenser, a marijuana pipe, and bottles of alcohol with him at the time of the blaze

Google executive Forrest Tim Hayes died after he was injected with heroin by a prostitute on his boat in 2013

Microdosing – taking a small amount of a drug for alleged mental health benefits – is widespread in Silicon Valley.

Tech executives compare it to Bradley Cooper in the movie ‘Limitless’, where he plays a man who uses a mystery drug to become smarter than anyone else.

But some have taken it beyond their limits – with fatal consequences.

Holly McNamara, who worked as an assistant and public relations aide to Hsieh, told DailyMail.com her former boss began microdosing as ‘a scientific experiment’, before it spiraled out of control.

Lee’s voracious drug-taking was first reported around two weeks after his murder.

The San Francisco Standard cited a friend, Taraneh Ipakchi, who said he liked to ‘do a lot of drugs’.

The father-of-two is thought to have met Momeni’s sister, Khazar Momeni, around 2020. 

Ms Momeni’s friend, Samira Kuduzovic, said she may also have been a regular drug-user, the newspaper reported.

Prosecutors say Lee visited a San Francisco apartment with Ms Momeni just hours before his violent death.

The apartment belonged to a suspected drug dealer, court records show.

Lee and Khazar Momeni (above), the wife of a respected plastic surgeon, are alleged to have been part of an underground scene of drugs and casual sex

Images show the timeline of events leading to Cash App founder Bob Lee’s alleged murder 

Friends of Lee told The Wall Street Journal that he and Ms Momeni, the glamorous wife of a respected plastic surgeon, were part of what is known among certain wealthy tech circles as ‘The Lifestyle’ – a code for couples seeking freewheeling sex.

Police say they have surveillance footage that allegedly lays out how Momeni lured Lee into his car and then down a dark side street in San Francisco before stabbing him to death.

Momeni has pleaded not guilty to the killing and is next due to appear in court on June 13.

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, did not respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment. 

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