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Sequoia obtains restraining order

Sequoia Capital obtained a restraining order against Anand Lyer Vaidyanathan, an Iowa man who allegedly tried to gain access to investor Michael Moritz at the firm’s Sand Hill Road Offices and later claimed he worked there.

Vaidyanathan went to Sequoia’s offices five times during the last week in October and the first week of November 2006, according to testimony from a private investigator hired by the venture firm. On his first visit, Vaidyanathan asked to meet with Moritz about an investment opportunity. On subsequent visits, he asked about employment at the firm. The receptionist asked him to leave, but he often remained in the lobby for extended periods of time, according to the court filing.

Vaidyanathan returned on Nov. 27, handed the receptionist his bank deposit slip and waited in the lobby while the Sequoia team called the police, according to the PI’s testimony. The police arrested Vaidyanathan for trespassing. At the time of his arrest, Vaidyanathan reportedly told police that the receptionist had made a mistake; he said that he was actually an employee of Sequoia Capital.

Sequoia posted a job opening for an early stage associate on its website at the end of November, one that Vaidyanathan applied for on Dec. 7. Sequoia’s investigator responded to him via email, and told Vaidyanathan that he should not contact Sequoia. Vaidyanathan responded “I thank you for your offer. I appreciate your timely action. I accept your offer of employment,” court documents show.

On Dec. 11, Vaidyanathan returned to Sequoia’s offices and was again arrested for trespassing, according to the PI’s testimony.

Vaidyanathan, formerly a student at Iowa State University, had sent Sequoia several hand-written letters offering the firm the opportunity to invest in two startups, A@stra Impact and Silicorn, according to court documents. He had also requested that the firm apply for an “investor’s green card” for him, the documents show.

Sequoia’s investigator says Vaidyanathan had been arrested for assault and battery in Redwood City, Calif., on Nov. 7. The PI also testified that he spoke with Vaidyanathan’s family, who said he was suffering from schizophrenia. These claims could not be immediately verified by PE Week.