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CEO Bernstein of Mars Venus Coaching Faces Felony Charges

Richard Bernstein, CEO of Mars Venus Coaching
Richard Bernstein, CEO, Mars Venus Coaching

Richard Bernstein, CEO of Mars Venus Coaching franchise company, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 on charges of theft and securities fraud.  Website Unhappy Franchisee reports that it's not only the current felony charge by the Nevada AG's office but also past convictions that the CEO carries with him:

Not surprisingly, the site [] left out Bernstein’s criminal record which, according to the Las Vegas Sun, includes a conviction for credit card fraud. Richard Bernstein also has “numerous civil judgments for breach of contract [and] two Internal Revenue Service liens totaling more than $200,000 in unpaid taxes that have been recorded against him.”

Let me just add this bit of information to Unhappy Franchisee's report. In its franchise disclosure document filed in the state of California, Mars Venus Coaching selected to only disclose this bit of cheery news about Mr. Bernstein:

Mr. Bernstein is our President and CEO, and has held that position since our inception. Prior to joining Mars Venus Coaching North America, Inc., Mr. Bernstein served in various capacities for ActionCOACH USA Inc., a business coaching franchisor, lcoated in Las Vegas, Nevada: most recently as Global Director of Sales from September of 2007 to January 2008, International Sales Manager/National Sales Manager from January 2006 to September 2007. From July 2005 to January 2006, he was an independent franchise broker in Las Vegas, Nevada. He also served as ActionCOACH's Master Licensee Support Manager from July 2003 to June 2005. From August 2005 to June 2006, Mr. Bernstein was Chief Operating Officer of Robinson Creek Financial Group and Vice President of First Choice Business Brokers, both located in Las Vegas, Nevada. From December 2001 until July 2003, he seerved as an independent sales consultant in Los Angeles, California. Br. Bernstein resides in Las Vegas Nevada. (Item 2, pdf)

... Item 3. Litigation. No Litigation is required to be disclosed in this Franchise Disclosure Document.

There is no disclosure about Mr. Bernstein's convictions of credit card fraud, contract breaches, IRS liens or any other criminal record. If you were contemplating investing your life's savings into a coaching franchise, wouldn't you want to know the criminal record of the CEO?

Now you know why many experts call the disclosure document more of a marketing brochure than anything else. This is a problem, folks.

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Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Call him at +1 (270) 321-1268, tweet @bluemaumau or email