Bradley had gotten his stake in Virtual Capital by turning over Las Vegas land. The land was accepted in lieu of cash three years after word of the criminal pasts of Metabolife’s founders had hit the news.
When Sanders was a cop, he knew Bradley, who was then a tow-truck operator. Cops and tow-truck operators get very chummy. Bradley’s two Metabolife cofounders, Mike Ellis and Mike Blevins, should have been well known to cops. They got busted in 1988 for making methamphetamine in Rancho Santa Fe. Ellis got probation, and Blevins went to the slammer. Later they founded Metabolife, which prospered handsomely.
But as customers got ill and died from the product, the government stepped in, particularly after Ellis falsely said the company had not received complaints. The company went under as the feds closed in.
In 2002, an affidavit by an Internal Revenue Service agent charged that Bradley, along with his two Metabolife cofounders, was skimming money out of Metabolife and stashing it in offshore tax havens. Bradley pleaded guilty to seven counts of tax evasion in 2005 and the next year was sentenced to six months of confinement.
Virtual Capital never went anywhere, and according to its founder, Coronado investor Tom Stickel, the investors lost their money.
Even though Metabolife’s putrid past had become public long before Bradley was recruited to invest in Virtual Capital of California, Sanders apparently felt no qualms about reuniting with his old tow-truck friend. Are they still chummy? Sanders isn’t talking.