Considering how much money Danny Meyer made on Shake Shack, what investor would miss out on a chance to profit off of In-N-Out? That’s probably how a man in California swindled investors in countries like Lebanon. Unfortunately for them, In-N-Out, owned by the Snyder family, famously doesn’t franchise and, except for the occasional international pop-up tease, refuses to even leave the Southwestern part of America.
Federal prosecutors say that starting last January, Craig Stevens began emailing potential investors, saying that he had “exclusive rights” to set up franchises over there. A location could be theirs, he allegedly promised, for $150,000 plus annual royalties of $250,000. With In-N-Out outposts making $2 million in average annual sales, this probably seemed like a steal, and prosecutors say Stevens managed to rack up $4.3 million from a handful of interested parties before getting caught. Stevens has now been arrested on charges of wire fraud. His prison nickname will probably be “Animal Style.”