SEC Charges Repeat Securities Violator David J. Bunevacz, Step-Daughter Mary Hayca Bunevacz, and Three Related Companies with Federal Securities Violations
Litigation Release No. 25356 / April 5, 2022
Securities and Exchange Commission v. David J. Bunevacz et al., No. 2:22-cv-02284 (C.D. Cal. filed April 5, 2022)
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against CB Holding Group Corp., Caesarbrutus LLC and their recidivist principal, David J. Bunevacz of Calabasas, California, for fraudulently raising more than $32 million from at least 40 investors. The SEC also charged them, along with Bunevacz's step-daughter, Mary Hayca Bunevacz, and Valencia-based Brutus California Ventures Corp., for selling securities in unregistered offerings.
According to the SEC's complaint, filed April 5, 2022 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, from at least April of 2017 through September of 2019, David Bunevacz raised funds from investors by falsely telling them that Caesarbrutus and CB Holding could generate significant profits through the production and sale of cannabis products, particularly vaporizer - or "vape" - pens containing CBD oil. Bunevacz allegedly gave investors fabricated purchase orders to give the false impression that there were binding orders for large quantities of vape pens. According to the complaint, Bunevacz also touted his successful business experience without disclosing that he previously pleaded guilty to two felony securities charges in California, and falsely told at least one investor that he had no criminal history. The SEC alleges that, instead of using investor funds to sell cannabis products as promised, Bunevacz misappropriated the majority of the investor funds for gambling and other personal expenses.
The SEC's complaint charges David Bunevacz, CB Holding and Caesarbrutus with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and charges all defendants with violating the securities registration provisions of Sections 5(a) and (c) of the Securities Act. The complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties against all of the defendants, seeks a penny stock bar against CB Holding and David Bunevacz, and seeks a bar against David Bunevacz from serving as an officer or director of a company with publicly traded securities.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Lance Jasper and supervised by Spencer Bendell of the Los Angeles Regional Office. The litigation will be led by Kathryn Wanner and supervised by Jennifer Barry. The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.