On September 5, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the Bebida Beverage Company and its former CEO and president, Brian Weber, with carrying out a fraudulent scheme to generate cash for his own benefit and to support the company’s failing business operations. The SEC’s complaint claims that Weber devised and operated a multi-pronged scheme. He is accused of creating a fictitious convertible note and deceiving the transfer agent to get the note converted into common shares that were ultimately sold to the public with the proceeds being returned to Bebida.
Weber is also accused of using sham transactions to fraudulently inflate the number of outstanding shares. The complaint also accuses Weber of issuing false press releases touting the retirement of the shares as a buyback. Finally, Weber is accused of selling other sham convertible debt and altering the checks he received as payment and depositing them into bank accounts he controlled. On October 30, 2018, Weber consented to entry of the judgment without admitting or denying the allegations.
The final judgment permanently enjoins Weber from similar violations in the future. He has also been ordered to pay $208,000 in disgorgement, $23,436 in prejudgment interest, and $160,000 in civil penalty. Further details have been made available here.