A four-star US Army general who served as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during the war in Kosovo is now out promoting failing penny stocks, according to a new Bloomberg report.
Since 2004, Clark has joined the boards of at least 18 public companies, 10 of which were penny stock companies. Only one of these penny stocks didn’t lose value during his tenure, and 3 went totally bankrupt after he left their boards, according to Bloomberg.
“His appearance on a board is a huge red flag,” Joe Spiegel, whose fund, Dalek Capital Management, made money shorting the stock of one of Clark’s ventures, told Bloomberg. “These companies use people’s names to get legitimacy.”
Penny stocks are sketchy, relatively small market cap and low price stocks that trade outside of the major market exchanges. They’re considered to be high risk because they don’t have a lot of liquidity and have limited disclosure.
Two of the more interesting ventures that Wesley Clark has been involved with include recruiting military veterans to a grilled cheese food-truck franchise, and helping a convicted felon (“he seemed honest and legitimate in this business”) raise money to grow lettuce.
Bloomberg reports that the grilled cheese venture “is losing money and hasn’t signed any veterans as franchisees, and the lettuce operation is being sued for failing to pay its bills.”
With the grilled cheese operation, Clark was promised more than $US200,000 a year by a group of penny-stock promoters to help find military veterans to staff trucks or buy franchises. But so far, “he’s made little money for himself,” and four of the five people recruited from the Wounded Warrior project have already quit because “of all the lies and b.s.”
As for the lettuce company, it’s called VFT Global, and it’s run by a Dennis Levine, a convicted felon who pleaded guilty to securities fraud in the ’80s, and helped inspire Charlie Sheen’s character in the movie “Wall Street,” according to Bloomberg.
The company’s website claims that “provide a secure, reliable food source” with “innovative solutions” in world where “essential resources like energy, food, and water” are running low. So far, they haven’t grown anything.
Furthermore, they have even recently started buying lettuce from other companies, but have failed to pay the bills, claiming the lettuce was bad or never delivered, according to Bloomberg.