CBD store owner accused of defrauding investors in SEC complaint

The co-founder of a defunct Connecticut holding company and CBD and hemp store has been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with bilking investors.

In addition to his holding company, Halitron, Bernard Findley was the co-founder of Hopp & Hemp Co., which sold CBD and other hemp products, according to The Newton Bee.

A federal charging document issued March 25 alleges that between 2016 and 2018, Findley “defrauded investors by disseminating false and misleading press releases about Halitron, a business Findley owned and controlled.”

Findley, the SEC charges, “grossly exaggerated Halitron’s financial wherewithal, the value of its assets and its prospects.”

Halitron “had scant operations” but attracted significant investment. In 2017, the SEC said, Findley raised nearly half a million dollars and spent it mainly to pay himself, to cover his wife’s credit card bills, and to promote the stock.

Halitron ceased operations in 2017. Findley’s lawyer declined to comment on the case to the newspaper.

The government seeks return of the investment fees, plus unspecified penalty fines. The SEC is also calling for Findley to be prohibited from acting as an officer or director of any publicly traded company.