Massroots Investors Sued By SEC for Stock Scheme

An early investor in Massroots is being sued by the SEC which may lead to forced repayment of $3.2 million in profits booked from 2015-2016.

Full story after the jump.

Founder of Dutchess Capital (now Altar Rock Capital) and early investor in Massroots Doug Leighton is being sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for his involvement in an alleged scheme to manipulate the cost of Massroots stock, New Cannabis Ventures reports. The lawsuit alleges that Leighton funneled investors into the cannabis company’s stock, even instructing them how much and when to buy and sell. Leighton also failed to report sales or holdings of the stock, which is legally required.

Two other companies controlled by Leighton — Bass Point Capital and Azure Capital — are named in the suit as well as fellow investors Michael Sullivan, David Hall, Zachary Harvey, Paul Dutra, Jason Harman, and Jessica Geran. The defendants were responsible for about 90% of the stock purchased by a private placement which was raised from a group of friends before it was publicly traded. Between April 2015 and March 2016, the group booked profits of $3.2 million, according to the SEC.

The lawsuit claims that Leighton used traceable email, text, phone calls, and in-person meetings to create a complicated investment scheme, all of which took place prior to Massroots going public. Leighton was able to keep track of his transactions with the help of Massroots CEO Isaac Dietrich, who provided Leighton with a Non-Objecting Beneficial Owner list on more than one occasion.

The SEC is seeking a permanent injunction, demanding repayment of all ill-gotten gains and payment of civil penalties that apply to the case. Read the full complaint here.

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