Benedict Van decided that his internet companies, a search-engine creator and a virtual shopping mall, needed to raise capital. What’s the best way to raise that money? Well, to lie and cheat inexperienced investors, of course! Van would go to someone’s house, claim that the companies would go public “soon” and drive stock prices up over 10x what investors paid, and then go and do the same at someone else’s house. Van settled with the SEC and is now barred from holding an executive position at any company.

[Source: DealBook]