CONCORD, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - The inventor of the Dechoker, a device marketed as a Heimlich Maneuver replacement, made bold claims online and to investors.
"We believe that the Dechoker is 99 percent risk free," said investor Alan Carver.
State investigators raided the Concord, NC office last month seizing computers and financial records accusing the business of running an "investment scheme," according to the search warrant and other state records.
The company is accused of raising more than $2 million by defrauding more than 80 investors, mostly from North Carolina. The company did not have a license to work in the state or sell securities but did both illegally, according to the North Carolina Secretary of State,
Records show Dechoker lied to investors telling them:
- Their stock value would increase "at least 10x very quickly"
- They had a government contract with the VA
- The Dechoker went through a medical review in the UK
- That the "King" of Turkey keeps the device in his palace and on his private plane
"None of these statements were true," according to financial investigators with the Secretary of State's office.
Turkey has a prime minister and a president but not a king.
The business closed up shortly after the state raided the place. The inventor of the Dechoker says the lease was up and they planned to relocate.
The state had been investigating the business since at least December 2016.
Jason Torres, who works next door to the Concord office, saw employees tossing stuff in a dumpster.
"I just asked, 'Hey what's going on?,'" he recalled. "She said, 'We're moving our location. We're closing down this division.' And that was it."
Out back, a dumpster was overflowing with empty cardboard tubes and face masks. Court records say, in some cases, the company had taken money for its products but "had been refusing" to send them out. Instead, executives photographed the products and shipping labels "to demonstrate to the purchasers that Dechoker had shipped the products."
The business is also being investigated for obstruction of justice after an whistleblower told authorities that "she had been ordered by her managers to shred documents" and that the business "was in the process of disposing of the contents in its warehouse."
Alan Carver sent FOX 46 a letter from his attorney saying they "are in the process of registering the securities."
"We were ask (sic) by the state to doing (sic) it," Carver said in an email. "I guess we were to (sic) slow. All is being handled now."
Carver later pointed to a blog post on his website.
"Dechoker is a small organization with growing pains that all companies go through," the post reads. "We are committed to doing things right and when we discover we have not done something correctly, we are dedicated to ensuring we rectify the situation."
State officials would not comment due to the ongoing investigation.