- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Newport Beach man is accused of conning investors out of more than $4 million as part of a scheme to sell fake In-N-Out Burger franchises in the Middle East.

The Los Angeles Times reports (https://lat.ms/1bLIZmF ) that Craig Stevens pleaded not guilty Monday in a Santa Ana federal court to wire fraud. He is out on $10,000 bail. A trial is scheduled for July.

Prosecutors say Stevens reached out to investors by email offering In-N-Out franchises for about $150,000 per location, with an additional annual fee of $250,000 for royalties. He received about $4.27 million.

Prosecutors say in June 2014 he committed wire fraud by emailing a fake In-N-Out licensing agreement to an unidentified Lebanese investor.

Irvine-based In-N-Out Burger Inc. is privately owned. The company does not have franchise agreements.


Information from: Los Angeles Times, https://www.latimes.com/

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