Forbes Magazine Reports: “SEC Charges Poster Boy Of Pot Penny Stock Bubble With Fraud”.
Just a short year after Forbes reported this story on the “King of Pot”, not the “Poster Boy of Pot Penny Stock Bubble”. Such titles being thrown around as royalty.
Hardly a Poster of Pot Penny Stocks, but certainly these guys were rolling in the Hemp Penny stocks. Now that these charges are filed maybe the mom & pops will step in to fill a compassionate void with Food & Medicine before the Profiteers step in.
“With states starting to permit the use of marijuana for personal use, a group of pot stocks soared high on the penny stock market in 2013 and 2014 before their inevitable hangover. No stock flew higher than CannaVest, which briefly hit a market valuation of $3 billion.
On Friday, the Securities & Exchange Commission filed fraud charges against CannaVest, now known as CV Sciences, and its CEO, Michael Mona, Jr. CV Sciences currently has a market capitalization of $26 million.
CannaVest CEO Michael Mona Jr. Credit: Lara Tomlin
CannaVest CEO Michael Mona Jr.
Both CannaVest and Mona were the subject of stories in Forbes highlighting the ridiculousness of the pot penny stock bubble. “Our sole focus is to source and supply the highest-quality industrial hemp available on the market,” Mona told Forbes at the time. For a moment, one of Mona’s partners even became the first pot stock “billionaire.”
According to a 22-page complaint the SEC filed in federal court in Nevada, Mona and CannaVest overstated the company’s assets in 2013 by manipulating the acquisition price of a company called PhytoSphere. The SEC is seeking civil penalties from both Mona and CannaVest and wants Mona barred from being an officer or director of a public company.
The SEC has already sued Bruce Perlowin, who likes to be known as the king of pot, claiming he committed a long-running fraud as CEO of Hemp Inc, evading registration provisions and selling hundreds of millions of unregistered shares. Perlowin has denied the charges and the case remains open.
While reporting on Perlowin’s role in inflating the pot stock bubble and his dealings with CannaVest, Perlowin offered deeply discounted CannaVest shares that Mona was selling in an offering to a Forbes reporter, who declined them.”