On March 27 of this year, an alleged San Diego enterprise, Cuba Beverage Company, announced that it was launching its "new all-natural alkaline spring water." Said the company's chief executive, Alex Procopio, "With the launch of our bottled water product, we expect to attract new investment in the company." Cuba got off to a bad start. The head of the public relations firm that prepared the release says, "They never paid us for our work."
I called the PR firm because I was trying to locate Cuba Beverage. Its phone is not in service. I couldn't find any way to reach Procopio. If you go to Yahoo.com, a good place to look up stocks, Cuba shares are selling for $0.00. However, if you dig a little deeper by going to OTCMarkets.com, you will find that Cuba shares are actually trading at a tiny fraction of a penny — $0.0002 today (October 25). Although Cuba Beverage can't be located, its website boasts that its herbal energy juice "was developed under the direction of top industry scientists" and is "a leader in the health and wellness category."
That is curious, because the latest financial information on the company reveals that 2016 sales were zero. This company has had many names since 1995: Platinum Corp., Precious Metals Corp., Innotelco, Green America Land Holdings, and Green Card Capital Corp. before becoming Cuba Beverage around 2010. There is little information on Cuba, because its stock trades on the so-called Pink Sheets, a daily listing of over-the-counter stocks that generally don't report their financial information and may be traded infrequently — in a word, Pink Sheet stocks are a crapshoot.
My interest was piqued because on Thursday of last week, Margaret Willett of La Jolla filed suit against Procopio and several others. But two working days after she filed it, the phone number listed on the suit had been disconnected. I found another number in phone-company information. It had been disconnected. I sent her two emails and got no response.
Willett says she put $150,000 into Cuba stock but charges that Procopio, lawyers Jonathan Shiff and Luke Zouvas, and former chief financial officer Mark Zouvas (Luke's brother) ran a pump-and-dump scheme on the stock — that is, puffed it up and dumped their stock before it plummeted. The only persons I could reach were the Zouvas brothers.
Mark Zouvas says, "I never sold a share." The company owes him more than $50,000, he says. He says a penny-stock promoter and convicted felon "came to my office and threatened me a few times" over Cuba matters. I couldn't find the convicted felon, either.
Luke Zouvas is more specific: "The alleged causes of action are completely false and without merit whatsoever. I have never sold a single share of Cuba stock…. I am filing a countersuit against Mrs. Willett for slander, libel, and defamation of character. I will seek punitive damages," he says.
I hope he has better luck locating the company than I had.