Health Oil CEO Accused of $2M Fraud
An Orlando man is facing 37 charges for taking $1.8 million from investors. Gus Papathanasopoulos, Founder and CEO of Neofat Industries Inc., is in custody in a hospital bed because of an undisclosed health condition.
His company had a patented process to combine vegetable and coconut oils, billed as a health product. Papathanasopoulos sold $1.8 million worth of stock starting in 2002. State officials say Papathanasopoulos loaned himself $1.3 million from the company and then forgave the loans as CEO.
Robert Kynoch, the chief of the Florida Bureau of Financial Regulation, said investors aren’t expected to get their money back.
“This is very common. These are the most common types of cases the Bureau of Financial Investigations takes on and prosecutes,” Kynoch said.
The state of Florida fined Papathanasopoulos $3.2 million last year.
He faces a maximum of 180 years in jail.
Abe Aboraya is a reporter with WMFE in Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.