The Securities and Exchange Commission charged three individuals who defrauded investors in a company that falsely claimed to be developing a caffeinated chocolate snack and nearing an acquisition by Monster Energy or Coca-Cola Co.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Lisa Bershan and her husband, Barry Schwartz, together with business associate Joel Margulies, falsely promised investors that after being acquired, Starship Snack Corp. investors would get a one-to-one exchange of Starship shares for Monster or Coca-Cola shares.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Bershan and Margulies also falsely claimed that investors had “no downside risk,” and Bershan personally guaranteed that investors could get their investment back with 5% interest if the shares failed to appreciate over a year.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Starship had no agreement with Monster Energy or Coca-Cola, and Bershan and Schwartz spent investor funds to rent and decorate a New York City apartment and on travel, meals and other personal expenses.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers