YouPlus 'AI' intelligence engine investor fraud
Occurred: July 2020
YouPlus, a US-based start-up that marketed itself as an AI and machine learning-enabled 'Video Opinion Intelligence Engine platform', has deliberately deceived investors about the nature of its business, according to an SEC complaint.
YouPlus described itself as 'a cutting-edge technology innovation company that has built the world’s first Video Opinion Intelligence Engine (VOISE), an advanced AI and Machine Learning platform to unlock consumer opinions and experience insights from videos.'
The SEC alleged that YouPlus CEO Shaukat Shamim falsely told investors that YouPlus had millions of dollars of revenue and more than 150 different business customers, when in fact it had earned less than USD 500,000 and had only four paying customers.
When one investor pressed Shamim for information substantiating his claims, he allegedly provided the investor with falsified bank statements.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California has also announced criminal charges against Shamim.