VentureMoney Management Co. Investor Fraud
Case name: Marieme Bouguerba v. Mark Bernier, et al.
Case type: Investor Fraud
Filed in: [California Superior Court, San Diego County]
Docket: [Case no. 37-2019-00010619-CU-BC-CTL]
In 2019, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a lawsuit on behalf of Marieme Bougerba against Mark Bernier and the principals of a San Diego-based venture capital operation called VentureMoney Management Co., alleging securities fraud, securities violations, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting, and breach of contract.
The Amended Complaint alleged that Bernier, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of VentureMoney Management Co. (“VentureMoney”), ran an investment scam in which, using the dating website Millionairematch.com, he defrauded the Plaintiff of her life savings by inducing her to purchase $600,000 of unregistered, non-exempt securities by falsely representing his investment credentials; falsely promising to return the money at any time to induce the sales; and refusing to show any of the investment terms and conditions embedded in the transactional documents.
Bernier exchanged over 29,000 messages with over 3,000 women on Millionairematch.com between October 2017 and May 2019, the Complaint alleged, a function of a scam that involved trolling the Internet for vulnerable, high-net-worth women in order to sell them worthless securities and keep their money.
Also named as defendants were the directors and officers of VentureMoney and its holding company, VMC Holdings, LLC, who allegedly lent credibility to Bernier’s scheme by permitting him to exploit their names, faces and investment expertise in marketing materials and pitch books that contained materially false and misleading information.
In 2021, the parties reached a settlement in the case.
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