Social media superstar Dan Bilzerian’s Ontario cannabis company under investigation


A Canadian company run by a U.S. social-media star faces criminal and civil investigations of accounting fraud in the United States, and is under regulatory investigation in Canada, a court filing has revealed.

Ignite International Brands Ltd., headquartered in Markham, Ont., operated in the Canadian cannabis market until last October. It is run by chief executive officer Dan Bilzerian, a Los Angeles-based Armenian-American poker player and social-media influencer with 33.6 million Instagram followers.

It now focuses on consumer goods that include CBD and vape products, performance drinks, apparel, and spirits such as tequila, vodka and seltzers.

Until it went private on Monday, it traded on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker symbol “BILZ-CN -9.84%decrease,” for its CEO. At the stock’s peak in 2019, the company had a market capitalization of more than $750-million, but it was worth about $170-million when it stopped trading in both Canada and the United States.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a request with a California court on Monday to compel Ignite to comply with an investigative subpoena it sent the company in May. The court filing and its exhibits reveal Ignite faces multiple subpoenas in the U.S. criminal justice system. In Canada, the company says in court documents that it faces “numerous requests from the regulatory authorities.”

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