The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Sixty Million Dollars Up in Smoke? (Yet Another Aspiring Rapper Update)

Posted on | May 26, 2023 | Comments Off on Sixty Million Dollars Up in Smoke? (Yet Another Aspiring Rapper Update)

Before I explain why this post is illustrated with a photo of actor Stacy Keach, permit me to suggest that readers follow my Instagram page. While I don’t post much there except family photos and pictures of various meals I eat, the fact that I’ve got fewer than 400 followers on Instagram is a little hard on my pride, considering my reputation as a New Media wizard. Now, about that photo . . .

Being a boy named Stacy is difficult, but I could always point to the tough-guy actor whenever I was taunted about having “a girl’s name.” A Shakespearean-trained stage actor, whose father was also a successful actor, Stacy Keach got his first starring film credit playing Doc Holliday with Faye Dunaway as his co-star in Doc (1971). He later became best known as the detective Mike Hammer in three seasons of the eponymous TV series. More recently, Keach has been the narrator of the long-running CNBC series American Greed. But for some of us, the greatest role of Keach’s career was in Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke.

Stacy Keach as Sgt. Stadanko

Those familiar with Cheech & Chong’s album material know that the narcotics officer Sgt. Standanko was first introduced by Sister Mary Elephant as a special guest speaker at Our Lady of 115th Street Catholic School, where the students “do seem rather well-informed” about drugs. As later played by Keach in the 1978 movie Up in Smoke, Sgt. Stadanko begins sampling the illegal substances, with remarkable effects. And this came to mind when I began investigating the career of “Big Rig Baby,” a rapper based in St. Petersburg, Florida.

As you can see, “Big Rig Baby,” a/k/a Patrick Earl Williams, enjoys displaying his sports cars and gold jewelry on his Instagram page which has more than 50,000 followers. Now, I don’t have any sports cars or gold jewelry, but why should I have less than 400 followers on my Instagram page? Don’t readers love me? Am I that much less popular — less talented, less beloved — than “Big Rig Baby”?

Certainly, I’m less likely to be sent to federal prison than “Big Rig Baby” who, it seems, is the Bernie Madoff of aspiring rappers:

SEC Shuts Down WeedGenics
$60 Million Cannabis Offering Fraud

Washington D.C., May 23, 2023 — The Securities and Exchange Commission obtained an emergency order to halt an alleged ongoing offering fraud and Ponzi-like scheme by Integrated National Resources Inc. (INR), which does business as WeedGenics, and its owners, Rolf Max Hirschmann and Patrick Earl Williams, who have raised more than $60 million from investors to expand their cannabis operations, but have instead used the majority of funds to make $16.2 million in Ponzi-like payments and to enrich themselves.
According to the complaint, since at least June 2019, Hirschmann and Williams have promised investors they would use raised funds to expand WeedGenics facilities, which they guaranteed would produce up to 36 percent returns, but in reality Hirschmann and Williams never owned or operated any facilities — it was all a sham. The complaint alleges that when Hirschmann and Williams received investors’ funds, they transferred the money through multiple accounts to enrich others and for personal use such as entertainment, jewelry, luxury cars, and residential real estate. The complaint further alleges that in an attempt to avoid detection, Hirschmann, acting as the face of the company, used the fake name Max Bergmann the entire time he communicated with investors, while Williams, as Vice President of the company, worked behind the scenes while spending investor funds on his more public career as a rap musician known as “BigRigBaby.”
“Rolf Hirschmann and Patrick Williams allegedly had no real company, no product, and no business, yet despite this, they promised investors everything and then delivered nothing,” said Michele Wein Layne, Director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office. “This action demonstrates that, despite the defendants’ extensive efforts to avoid detection, the SEC has the ability to uncover fraud to protect investors.”
The court granted the SEC emergency relief against INR, Hirschmann, Williams, and several relief defendants, including a temporary restraining order, an order freezing their assets, and appointment of a temporary receiver over INR and the entity relief defendants. A hearing is scheduled for June 2, 2023 to consider whether to issue a preliminary injunction and appoint a permanent receiver.
The SEC’s complaint charges the defendants with violating the antifraud provisions of the securities laws and seeks permanent injunctions, conduct-based injunctions, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, civil penalties, and officer and director bars. The SEC also seeks disgorgement with prejudgment interest from the named relief defendants.

Sixty million dollars . . . Up in Smoke?

Sgt. Stadanko could not be reached for comment.




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