New reports say that the wife of former Bed Bath & Beyond chief financial officer Gustavo Arnal was with him in the final moments before he jumped to his death from the family’s 18th-floor Manhattan apartment.
Arnal, 52, died in what police have said appears to have been a suicide, according to The New York Times. His body was found Friday near the Jenga building where he lived, and “appeared to suffer from injuries indicative from a fall from an elevated position,” police said in a statement.
At the time of the plunge, his wife was in the apartment, according to the New York Post.
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A law enforcement source said no suicide note was found, and that no criminal conduct is suspected, the Post reported.
Arnal had been married to his wife for 28 years, according to the Daily Mail. He leaves behind two daughters.
He also leaves behind a tangled financial mess that prompted a class action lawsuit on behalf of everyone who bought Bed Bath & Beyond stock between March 25 and Aug. 18, according to the Daily Mail.
The suit was filed about one week before Arnal’s death.
The suit was aimed at the activities of Arnal and investor Ryan Cohen alleging that actions were taken to artificially inflate the stock price.
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The lawsuit said that Arnal’s role was accomplished by making “materially misleading statements and omissions about the company’s financial standing in an effort to artificially inflate the share price.”
“Through mid-August 2022, BBBY appeared — from the company’s public statements and financial reporting to be a successful turning-around company,” the lawsuit said.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 5, 2022
The lawsuit claims the deceased executive “blatantly misrepresented the value and profitability of [the company] causing BBBY to report revenues that was fictitious [and] announce publicly that the company is successfully on the way spinning off BBBY to ‘unlock full value’ of this ‘tremendous asset,’” it said.
Bed Bath & Beyond, though, was not doing well financially, the lawsuit claimed.
After Cohen and Arnal sold their shares at a time the stock was high, the stock began to fall. Stock that had been selling at $30 a share before the sales was soon down to $16.16 a share, continuing to fall throughout the month.
Bed Bath & Beyond recently said it would close 150 stores and slash jobs in an effort to turn around the company, according to Reuters.
The store closings followed a second quarter in which same-store sales dropped 26 percent year over year.