OXFORD, MISS. (CN) U.S. Sustainable Energy Corp. and its CEO John Rivera ran a pump and dump scheme with bogus claims they could make biofuel from soybeans for 50 cents a gallon, and Rivera’s common law wife made $721,000 by dumping shares at inflated prices, the SEC claims in Federal Court.
Rivera pushed his scam by claiming he had a patent pending process that could produce three times as much biofuel as competitors from the same amount of raw materials, the SEC says. He falsely claimed his Natchez-based company could churn out fuel for 50 cents a gallon and that his company, when it completed a merger, would have “an immediate market value of between $9 billion and $12 billion,” the SEC says. “These claims were utterly false.”
It claims that after driving the price up through these bogus claims, Rivera directed Alice Price to sell 2.6 million shares, from which she made $721,462 in profits. Rivera, 58, of Natchez, never registered his stock, the SEC says. Alice Price, 61, lived with him and “Rivera testified that, while they are not married, he considers Price to be his wife,” the complaint states.