SEC Says Cannabis Startup Fraud Smoked Investors For $3M

By Chris Villani (April 7, 2020, 8:47 PM EDT) -- A Boston man and a group of his friends bought 90% of the shares in a cannabis startup and manipulated the stock price to net themselves more than $3.2 million, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claimed in a complaint Tuesday.

The SEC said Douglas Leighton, 51, recruited friends and acquaintances to buy shares of MassRoots Inc., a Los Angeles-based company seeking to become an online community for marijuana-related information. Leighton bought a chunk of shares himself and directed the group of investors, who mostly hail from Massachusetts and California, on when and how much MassRoots stock to buy and sell,...

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