A man from Newport Beach, California will face trial in July for allegedly bilking investors out of over $4 million as part of a scheme to sell phony In-N-Out burger franchises in the Middle East.
Craig Stevens, 55, pleaded not guilty in a Santa Ana federal court this week, according to the Los Angeles Times. He is out on bail of $10,000. Prosecutors say Stevens had reached out to investors through email, starting in January in 2014, and had sold several In-N-Out franchises for $150,000 per location, in addition to royalties which cost an $250,000 annually thereafter.
The Irvine-based In-N-Out Corp. has been privately owned by the Snyder family since it was founded in 1948. The family has explicitly expressed that they do not plan on franchising or selling the chain, intending to keep it in the family.
The vast majority of their stores are in the company’s home state of California.
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