SEC investigating Mesa Energy Holdings

Mesa Energy Holdings Inc., which was the subject of a Sharesleuth story in April, is facing a formal Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

Mesa (OTCBB: MSEH.OB) said in a public filing that the SEC appears to be investigating whether the company or its predecessor, Mesquite Mining Inc., was involved in any improper sales of unregistered securities.

The Dallas-based company said the SEC also is examining whether Mesquite made any false or misleading statements

Sharesleuth’s story called attention to an unusual deal in which Mesa – which was already listed on the Pink Sheets – did a reverse merger with Mesquite Mining, a publicly held shell company.

That transaction put 14 million virtually free shares of Mesa into the hands of four investors from the Mesquite Mining side of the transaction.

Mesa’s stock rose from 50 cents a share to a high of $3.50, aided by an extensive and expensive promotional campaign. The company also recruited several high-profile individuals, including former New York Gov. George Pataki, to serve on a newly created advisory board.

Later SEC filings showed that the four entities that got large blocks of Mesa stock through the reverse merger sold or transferred at least 6 million of their shares during or after the price surge.

One of the four entities was Gottbetter Capital Group Inc., headed by New York lawyer Adam S. Gottbetter, whose firms have provided securities work and investment banking to Mesa. Another was Marlifran Investments LLC, a New Jersey company that Sharesleuth linked to Samuel DelPresto, a former stockbroker and convicted felon who was barred from the securities industry for his role in a fraud and manipulation scheme that cost investors more than $100 million.

Mesa said it was cooperating with the SEC, and that it was confident that “no improper sales of unregistered securities were made by current officers, directors or employees of the Company or its subsidiaries.”

Money and property seized from Who’s Your Daddy executives

Another Who’s Your Daddy Inc. executive has been caught up in a criminal drug trafficking case in San Diego.

Court documents filed since our original story show that, in March, agents seized a 32-foot powerboat valued at more than $100,000 from Dan Fleyshman, one of Who’s Your Daddy’s founders and the current director of sponsorship.

The seizures preceded a slew of federal drug indictments that included Edon Moyal, Fleyshman’s co-founder at Who’s Your Daddy (OTCBB: WYDI.OB).

Fleyshman is not a defendant in the case and has not been charged with any crimes. He told Sharesleuth that although the government seized the boat, it wasn’t actually his.

“I didn’t own the boat so it wasn’t seized from me, nor was anything else since I’m not a part of the case,” he said in an email.

Fleyshman said the boat had at one point belonged to a luxury store that he owned in downtown San Diego. He said it was purchased by one of the defendants in the drug trafficking case, which is why the government took it. However, the most current registration records for the boat still list Fleyschman’s store as the owner.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said it couldn’t comment on a pending case.

The government disclosed the seizure after prosecutors filed a bill of particulars for all of the items and cash that were taken as part of the investigation. In all, agents seized more than $500,000 worth of cash, cars and jewelry from people connected to the case. That includes some $40,000 in cash seized from Moyal, and a little more than $4,000 seized from Fleyshman, whose name was misspelled in the court documents.

Moyal was executive vice president of marketing and brand development at the time of his arrest. He, along with a handful of others, was charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. According to court documents, agents conducting surveillance spotted Moyal handling boxes of marijuana that were later shipped from San Diego to Maryland.

Although Who’s Your Daddy said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in April that Moyal had resigned as an officer and director, it did not disclose his arrest or his federal indictment.

The case drew national attention when an undercover operation that was supposed to be a final bust went awry last spring and several defendants led police on high speed chase across San Diego freeways, throwing fistfuls of cash out their windows as they went.

Moyal and Fleyshman, both under 30, had been hailed in Entrepreneur and other publications for developing the Who’s Your Daddy line of clothing, energy drinks and other products, and for taking their company public at such a young age.

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