Posted Jul 08, 2010 01:52 pm CDT
The Securities and Exchange Commission claims in a lawsuit that a Utah money manager promised to place investor money in commercial real estate but instead put the funds into a sandwich-in-a-can business and other ventures.
The suit claims Travis Wright of Draper, Utah, collected $145 million from 175 investors, but invested only $6 million as promised, Bloomberg reports. Among the investments was the “Candwich” business, the New York Times reports. Wright is also accused of spending $15 million to finance a lavish lifestyle for himself and his friends.
A Candwich ad promises “grab-and-go convenience” and says the product’s long shelf life makes it perfect for emergency storage needs in the event of natural disasters. Wright is also accused of investing in companies that sell rose petals with sentiments printed on them and watches over the Internet, the stories say.
According to the Times, “Utah has long endured a reputation as a place where many people are naïve or trusting to the point of losing their shirts.” SEC enforcement director Michael Hines told the newspaper that schemers in one case raised funds by putting fliers on car windshields in Utah. Much of the cash ended up in Latvia.
The Securities and Exchange Commission did not mention the Candwich business in its press release.
Hat tip to Pat’s Papers.