April 16, 2012 — Bradley David Edson, former chief executive officer of NutraCea, has been accused of orchestrating a fraud scheme that was allegedly intended to inflate the company’s stock price and to defraud investors as well as auditors and securities regulators, according to The Arizona Republic. Mr. Edson has been charged with 27 counts of securities fraud and other fraud charges.
Between December 2005 and March 2009, Mr. Edson was the CEO of NutraCea, a company that makes stabilized rice bran. Mr. Edson resigned from his position at NutraCea after the Securities and Exchange Commission informed the company that it was investigating NutraCea 2006 and 2007 transactions.
As the CEO, Mr. Edson allegedly orchestrated phony agreements and transactions that enabled NutraCea to fraudulently boost the company’s sales and profits—by $750,000 in 2006 and by $3.6 million in 2007. Early in 2008, Mr. Edson made false statements to auditors, claiming that a large shipment of the company’s Rice ‘n Shine product was delivered in 2007 although it was actually not delivered until 2008. Mr. Edson is also accused of receiving a kickback of $600,000 from a debt-acquisition deal.
Between April 2007 and November 2008, Mr. Edson and others at the company had several statements released, overstating the company’s revenue and profit. These press releases allegedly omitted information related to the company’s acquisition of Vital Living’s securities. In the years leading up to Mr. Edson’s tenure at NutraCea, he was president and CEO of Vital Living.
Waters & Kraus is a national firm with highly skilled lawyers practicing qui tam litigation in four offices, including Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Baltimore. Our attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing whistleblowers in a variety of fraud cases. Contact us or call our attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our practice and how we can assist.