Bob Marley’s music has transformed the lives of millions of people around the world and his estate keeps pulling in loot year after year.
Products from the brand ranging from clothing to lighters, and even their own line of marijuana – helped bring in over $21 million dollars in 2016, according to Forbes.
One of the brands under the Marley fold is Marley Coffee, which also changed the life for one of the co-founders of the company.
Shane G. Whittle was recently banned from holding any meaningful executive positions in any company based in the United States and Canada.
The whole thing started when Shane was running Marley Coffee and its subsidiary Jammin’ Java Corp.
Jammin’ Java was striking licensing deals left and right and earning millions when the federal government accused Shane and several co-conspirators of participating in a pump and dump stock fraud scheme, involving penny stocks [SEC v. Jammin’ Java Corp, et al, Case No. 2:15-cv-8921-SVW (C.D. Cal. 2015)].
Shane Whittle was operating at a high level of international business when the feds came calling.
Between 2011 and 2015 the company took in over $14 million and managed to secure over 15,000 distribution partners.
Just last Shane Whittle ducked jail time in his case, and he submitted some advice to budding entrepreneurs, as he maintained his innocence and blamed a lack of business education for his legal troubles.
“Among the lessons I learned was that when building something on passion and big vision, entrepreneurs must properly vet professionals and work with a skilled management team to ensure that all laws and regulations are vigorously complied with,” Shane G. Whittle – Co-Founder, Marley Coffee.
“That is crucial for all entrepreneurs to build a sustainable and successful business: a lesson I have certainly learned through this experience and have implemented in all my current business undertakings,” Shane said.
The restrictions the government placed on Shane doing business in the U.S. are very strict. Not only can he not deal in penny stocks for the next 10 years, he must also pay a $250,000 fine and repay the government $1.8 million.
But Shane was more than happy to fork over the $250,000 fine plus another $1.8 million in ill-gotten earnings, to the government in order to keep his freedom.
“My experience co-founding the global brand Marley Coffee – a gourmet organic coffee producer – with Rohan Marley, the son of late reggae singer Bob Marley, was a remarkable and instrumental learning part of my life,” Shane Whittle said.
“Marley Coffee licensed its brand worldwide, including to Jammin’ Java. I gained extensive knowledge and experience as we brought a commodity product from Jamaica, Ethiopia, and the Americas to the mainstream retail space for consumers to enjoy with every sip,” he continued. “With my vision of taking on international markets in one of the most competitive industries on the planet, there was no stopping our challenging endeavor.”