(Adds Marley Coffee spokesman's response)
Nov 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Jammin Java former CEO in connection with a $78 million pump-and-dump scheme involving the stock of the company that operates as Marley Coffee and uses trademarks of reggae legend Bob Marley.
The SEC said Jammin Java's former Chief Executive Shane Whittle, who gained control of millions of Jammin Java shares through a reverse merger, orchestrated the scheme with three others who operate entities offshore. (1.usa.gov/1kCVQND)
Whittle spread the stock to the offshore entities controlled by Wayne Weaver of the UK and Canada, Michael Sun of India, and René Berlinger of Switzerland, the commission said.
"The shares were later dumped on the unsuspecting public after the stock price soared following fraudulent promotional campaigns," the SEC said.
A Marley Coffee spokesman declined to comment but said the company would issue a statement shortly.
The SEC has filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. (Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)