May 12, 2015 11:45 AM by News Staff, Photo: In-N-Out
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Newport Beach man is accused of conning investors out of more than $4 million as part of a scheme to sell fake In-N-Out Burger franchises in the Middle East.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Craig Stevens pleaded not guilty Monday in a Santa Ana federal court to wire fraud. He is out on $10,000 bail. A trial is scheduled for July.
Prosecutors say Stevens reached out to investors by email offering In-N-Out franchises for about $150,000 per location, with an additional annual fee of $250,000 for royalties. He received about $4.27 million.
Prosecutors say in June 2014 he committed wire fraud by emailing a fake In-N-Out licensing agreement to an unidentified Lebanese investor.
Irvine-based In-N-Out Burger Inc. is privately owned. The company does not have franchise agreements.
Information from: Los Angeles Times
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