Tommy Chong at 2015 Hash Bash. Stanz's relationship with Chong did not exist.
  • Tommy Chong at 2015 Hash Bash. Stanz's relationship with Chong did not exist.
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The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday (May 21) charged San Diegan Aaron “Angel” Stanz and his company, Bud Genius, with securities fraud. The complaint was filed in federal court.

Stanz and Bud Genius, a penny stock marijuana testing company, distributed numerous false statements throughout 2014 and 2015, says the commission. Investors were told that the company was primarily involved in testing and analysis of medical marijuana and providing a social web platform that would assist patients in selecting cannabis that fit their medical needs. However, much of the revenue improperly included sales from Stanz’s charter jet business. Neither investors nor Bud Genius’s accountants were told about this revenue.

The company issued many “false and misleading” press releases, says the securities commission. For example, Stanz hyped Genius Biotech, said to be a subsidiary of Bud Genius. Actually, it was a shell company with no operations or employees, says the agency. Bud Genius put out a press release touting its relationship with comedian/cannabis activist Tommy Chong. The Union-Tribune did a puff piece on the company and Chong. But the relationship did not exist, says the SEC.

Annual reports and press releases stated that Stanz had no disciplinary history. But in 2009, he was permanently enjoined by an Illinois court for “cramming" telephone bills with unauthorized charges.

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Comments

Don Bauder May 22, 2018 @ 8:46 p.m.

Jon Shirizoku: I believe that San Diego is more of a sucker for fraudsters for several reasons: 1. The perfect climate draws people who become permanent tourists, not alert citizens or watchdogs; 2. A lot of dirty money comes over the border and flows into illegitimate enterprises; 3. San Diegans are more trusting and naive -- perhaps because of that perfect weather; 4. San Diego media are often asleep, or simply don't want to cover the thievery. There are other reasons, of course. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 22, 2018 @ 8:47 p.m.

nativesd: Definitely, San Diego has a higher percentage of hucksters. Best, Don Bauder

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samcoy May 23, 2018 @ 12:35 a.m.

Agreed to with Nativesd, and also with the don bauder, Locksmiths San Diego

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Don Bauder May 23, 2018 @ 7:06 a.m.

samcoy: With so many fraudsters around, maybe San Diego homeowners have a need for more locksmiths. Best, Don Bauder

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AlexClarke May 23, 2018 @ 6:30 a.m.

And the greedy Republicans want to privatize Social Security.

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Don Bauder May 23, 2018 @ 7:15 a.m.

AlexClarke: Look at so many privatization failures -- prisons, for one. The New York Times has an editorial today (May 23) showing how Education Secretary DeVos's favoring of for-profit colleges is frightfully stupid. Those for-profit schools, as we have learned in San Diego, have low standards, escalate student debt, charge inordinately high fees, and graduate few. The few who do graduate can't get jobs. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 23, 2018 @ 11:41 a.m.

Mike Murphy: Yes, some of the hucksters aren't too bright. They are more likely to get caught. A smart crook makes his scam impossible to be understood by regulators. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat May 23, 2018 @ 5:58 p.m.

So glad that "Trump University" finally got busted, but it sure took a long time. But the penalty was small potatoes for that orange-face huckster.

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Don Bauder May 23, 2018 @ 9:19 p.m.

dwbat: How would anyone like to face as many lawsuits as he faces? Do you think he will get a wrist slap for all of them? Best, Don Bauder

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